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BELGIUM 



AND 



WESTERN GERMANY 



IN 1833. 



INCLUDING VISITS TO 



BADEN-BADEN, WIESBADEN, CASSEL, HANOVER, 
THE HARZ MOUNTAINS, &c. &c. 



BY MRS. TROLLOPE, 

AUTHOR OF "domestic MAXKKRS OF THE AMERICANS." 



PHILADELPHIA: 
CAREY, LEA, &. BLANCHARD. 

1834. 



."\ 



>;^&4>- 






CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

Lord Liverpool Steam-boat — Private Theatricals — Military Mass 
— Ghistelles — Jabbeke — Oudenboui'g — Flemish Farm-house — 
Fete Dieu — M. Paret — Bruges — M. Moke — Hospital of St John 
— JeruspJem Chapel — Marche au Vendredi — Hotel de Commerce 9 

CHAPTER n. 

Ghent — Antiquities — St. Bavon — ThejUniversity — Schamp's Col- 
lection — BuU-Fight — Espions — Beguinage — St. Michael's — Ant- 
werp — Spanish Air — Effects of the Siege .... 23 

CHAPTER m. 

Antwerp — Notre Dame — Rubens — Academy — ^Vandyke — Calvary 
— Passports — Voitures — Arrival at Brussels — Belgian Politics — 
M. Alexandre Rodenbach — Chamber of Representatives — ^Duel 
—Society — ^Palace of the Prince of Orange — !Mint — MM. Van- 
dermaclen — M. Robyns — i)u Bos — Theatre — St, Gudule — Old 
Town — Louvain — Turoneren — Dilapidations — Tree of Liberty 33 

CHAPTER IV. 

Waterloo — St. Jean — Belle Alliance — ^.lonuments — Road to Na- 
raur — Namur — Huy — Pensionnat — Citadel — • Liege — Quentin 
Durward — Churches — Chaudfontaine — Belgian Politics . 49 

CHAPTER V. 

Aix-la-Chapelle — Charlemagne — Napoleon — Relics — King of Prus- 
sia — German Politics 67" 

CHAPTER VI. 

Journey to Cologne — Reasons for travelling — The Cathedral — 
Museum — Public Walks — Music — Bonn — Concert — Students — 
Smoking ....... 74 



ti CONTENTS. 

CHAt'f ER fit. ► 

PAGE. 

Goclesberg— The Seven Hills— Drachenfels—Friesdorf— Strom- 
berg — Catholic Devotion — Kreutzberg — I^uried Monks— Table 
d'h6te — German Manners — Unkel — -Laacher^^ee , . '. ' 85 

CHAPTER Vm. 

Rolandseck— Orlando Furioso — Nonnenworth— Unkel— Neuwied 

— Coblentz— The Moselle — Steam-boat Passengers— Mayence 104 

CHAPTER IX. 

Mayence — Cathedral — Francfort — Theatre — Cathedral — St. Ca- 
therine's — Cemetery — Jewish Synagogue — Luther — Hesse 
Hombom-g . . • • • • • US 

CHAPTER X. 

Darmstadt — Heppenheim — Storkenberg — Bergstrosse — Wein- 
hcim — Peasantry — Crops — Mannheim— The Palace — Ducal Gar- 
dens — Ball— Observatory — Cliurch of . the Jesuits — Theatre — 
Schwetzingen Gardens . . . . . . 137 

CHAPTER XI. 

Heidelberg — Neuenheim — Heidelberg Castle — The Necker — 
Neckersteinach — Tilsberg — Steinach — Tun of Heidelberg — 
Broken Tower — English Antiquaries . . . 150 

CHAPTER XII. 

Route to Carlsruhe — Seats for Travellers — Wiesloch— Lutheran 
Hymn — Avenue of Poplars — Carlsruhe — Palace Gardens — 
Opera — Baden — Chabert's — Old and New Castles — ^^Promenade 
— Gambhng Rooms ...... 171 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Old Castle—- Secret Tribunal — Roman Bath — Dress Ball — Baden 
Company — The Gaming Table — Sunday Evening — The Mourg- 
thal — The Mummelsee — Gernsbach — The Khngel — Eberstein 
—The Mourg . . . . . .181 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Confinement in the Secret Tribunal — Spiral Staircase — Chamber 
from which the Prisoners were let down — Theatre — Gambling 
— Strasbourg — Cathedral — Mummies — Maniac — Monument of 
Marechal Saxe — Return to Baden — Remarkable Characters- 
Departure ....... 199 



CONTENTS. Vil 



^aAjpTER XY. 



PAGE. 



Return to ManriUeuTV-T-German Honesty — Batliing- at Mannheim and 
^aden — Disappearance of the Jesuits— Voyage to Mayence — 
Douaiife at Worrns-r— Wiesbaden — Walks— Antiqiiities — Drink- 
ing- the Waters — Opera— Rooms — Gaming . ' . 213 

• CHAPTER XVI. 

Nassau Scenery — Langen-Schwalbach — ^Nassau — Ems — Pleasant 
Rencontre — Kurhaus — Public Rooms — Excursion to Braubach 
— Fortress of Marksberg — Boat on the Rhine — Pilgrims — At- 
tempt at Suicide . v . . . , 222 

CHAPTER XVn. 

Kurhaus Bazaar — German Ladies — Anecdote of Napoleon — Gam- 
bhng Fanatic — Donkey Excursion to Pfingstwaide — Table 
d'Hote — English Party— Reasons for English Shyness — Unneces- 
sary in Germany — Anecdote of a timid English Traveller — -Duke 
of Nassau — Departure from Ems — Road over the Taunus hills 
— Ehrenbreitstein — Coblentz — St. Goar . . . 234 

CHAPTER XVm. 

"God save the King" — Village School — Prussian Education — 
Freedom of the Press — National Education — The Rheinfels — 
Country above St. Goar — Students — Smoking — Churches — Ex- 
cursion to Rheinstein — The Pfalz — Bacharach — Prince Frede- 
rick's Castle — Caspar Melchior — Nassau Scenery — Boating 
disagi'eeable — Star-light — Vine-dressers . . . 252 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Voyage up the River to Mayence — Ingelheim Fighters — Le Fa- 
vorite — Francfort — Marberg — Cassel — Marble Bath — Willielm- 
shohe — Cassel — German Politics — Road to the Harz — Gottingen 
Education — Osterode— First View of the Harz — Entrance to 
the Forest — Goslar — Expedition to the Brocken — Ilsingbourg 269 

CHAPTER XX. 

Ascent of the Brocken — Charcoal-clearings — Iron Cross — Confu- 
sion of Rocks — Desolation — Top of the Mountain — Brocken- 
House — Witches' Orchestra — Devil's Pulpit — Witches' Dog- 
stone— Sunset — ^Night Storm — Morning Clouds — Effect of the 
Wind — Descent from the Brocken— Return to Goslar . 288 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Antiquities of Goslar — Altar of Croton — Hanover — Herrenhausen 
— Theatre — Salt Works at Rehme — Sea of Rocks — Cologne — 
Steam-boat — Rotterdam — Conclusion . . - 304 



BELGIUM AND WESTERN GERMANY 



1^ 1833. 



CHAPTER L 



l,orJ Liverpool Steam-boat — Private tlieatricals— Military Mass — Ghis- 
telles— J abbeke — Oudenbourg- — Flemish Farm-house — F6te-Dieu — M. 
Paret — Brug-es — M. Moke — Hospital of St. John — Jerusalem Chapel— 
Marche au Vendredi — Hotel de Commerce. 

I LEFT London for Ostend on the 1st of June, accom= 

panied by my son and Mr. H . The weather was 

delightful, and we had several agreeable fellow-passengers, 
but I should have been sorely vexed had I spied any trans- 
atlantic acquaintance among them ; for, in truth, a com- 
parison between the accommodation on board the Lord 
Liverpool packet, and that which is found in all and every 
of the unnumbered steam-boats of the United States, would 
have redounded ver}? little to the honour of our steam-esta- 
blishment. 

The vessel w^as dirty, and the fare both bad and insuffi- 
cient. Had any accident detained us, even for a few hours, 
the passengers, among whom there were many children, 
must have suffered very seriously from want of provision; 
for after the three o'clock dinner not an atom of bread, or 
even biscuit remained on board. 

We reached Ostend a little after midnight, and found very 
comfortable rooms bespoken for us at the Waterloo Hotel. 
Notwithstanding the uncouth hour, we sat down to a meal, 
wherein supper was at odds with breakfast, as to which it 

2 



10 BELGIUM AND 

might be called ; but it was rendered extremely welcome by 
the previous fast. 

It was my purpose to pass a few days at Ostend, both for 
the sake of enjoying the society of some friends residing 
there, and because my son had engaged to take a part in the 
representation of a comedy^ whicli was to be performed by 
a party of English amateurs, who had amused themselves for. 
some days before our arrival in preparing it. This comedy 
(She Stoops to Conquer) was extremely well got up, and 
performed with a great deal of spirit and cleverness ; but it 
was follow^ed by a farce, which very nearl}'^ proved a tragedy. 
This unlucky farce (Bombastus Furioso) has a single combat 
in the last scene, and luy son was wounded severely in the 
thigh, by a thrust from the sword of his adversary. This 
unlucky accident stretched our intended three days' stay to 
ten ; but fortunately produced no lasting inconvenience to 
the wounded hero. 

Few tourists pause more than an hour or two at Ostend : 
it is passed through merely as a door-way, by which to enter 
the interesting country of which it is the frontier. I will 
not say that my residence often days taught me to find beauty 
in the sandy level on w^hich the town stands ;. but it enabled 
me to discover that, as a bathing-place, it has many advan- 
tages. 

As a sea-walk, the Levee, which is raised before the for- 
tifications, and passes on for a miie beyond them, is delightful. 
In addition to its fine sea view, it has the attraction of the 
elegant pavilion recently built upon it under the superinten- 
dence of the British Consul. This pretty edifice, vvhich 
commands a noble marine view, is fitted up with great taste 
for the rest and amusement of the loungers. It contains 
rooms for reading, refreshments, and raffling ; and is alto- 
gether as agreeable a resort as any bathing-place I have seen 
can boast. 

There is another circumstance at Ostend, which I con- 
sider very important as one of the agrcniens of a summer 
residence ; it has a cheap and most abundant market for 
vegetables, fruit and flowers, wliich perhaps struck me the 
more, from my having so often experienced the want of these 
luxuries at our own w^atering-places. 

Henry's wound, though it confined him to his bed, in no 



WESTERN GERMANY. 11 

resj)ect affected iiis general health, and the tedious restraint 
was alleviated by books, and the visits of many wlio were 
kind enough to take pity on his seclusion. Among these 
was his young adversary, whose constant attention showed a 
very amiable degree of regret for the unlucky accident. With 
such excellent substitutes to take my place, I felt no scruple 
at leaving him ; and found time to see all Ostend has to 
show. 

On Sunday I attended mass at the fine old church of 
St. Peter. The pulpit, confessionals, and stalls are superbly 
carved. There is no great architectural beauty in the build= 
ing; but each of the three aisles is terminated by a very 
• handsome altar. It was vexing to my reformed eyes, to see 
one of these profaned by a huge wooden doll, with a fine 
watch at her side, and dressed in satins and lace, intended 
to represent the Virgin. Its draperies and decorations had 
just been refreshed and renewed, in preparation for the Fete- 
Dieu, w^hich was to take place on the following Sunday. 
Nothing could be more childishly grotesque than this figure: 
yet I was touched by the unmistakeable devotion of a poor 
old woman, who kneeled on the pavement before it. Her 
withered arms were extended, and an air of the most pas- 
sionate adoration animated her sunken features, as she gazed 
on this frightful idol. — And after' all, perhaps, there is 
something sublime in the state of mind, which allows not the 
senses to dwell on the object before them, but, occupied 
alone by the holiness of the symbol, is raised by it to such 
thoughts of heaven, as chase all feelings but those of devo- 
tion. That this is often the case with sincere Roman Catho- 
lics I have no doubt; and it is impossible to witness the 
feeling, without losing all inclination to ridicule the source 
of it. 

After the first service was concluded, we remained in the 
church to witness that most incongruous medley of sighs 
and sounds, a military mass. I was well pleased to be pre- 
sent at a ceremony so perfectly new to me ; but it hovered 
so strangel}' between the sublime and the ridiculous, that it 
would be difiicult to describe its effect. The measured tread 
of the long lines of soldiery reverberating along the lofty 
aisles, and the subdued, serious look that quenched their 
martial bearing, as they ranged themselves in triple file 



12 BELGIUM AND 

round the building, were solemn and impressive ; but when 
the grim and grotesque sapeurs, acconipanied by the whole 
band, marched up to the very steps of the altar, which they 
seemed to besiege with their thundering drums and trumpets, 
I knew not how to fancy the ceremony a religious one. 

The next day was spent in an excursion with a very 
agreeable pic-nic party, to show us something of the neigh- 
bouring country. We first drove to Ghistelles, a pretty 
village with a handsome church. The most interesting 
object in it is a monument erected to a certain Countess Go- 
delieve, who was barbarously murdered by command of her 
husband, some few hundred years ago, and is now wor- 
shipped as a saint. Her stately monument, indeed, might,- 
with more propriety, be termed an altar, for the lower part 
of it is arranged as such, and beside is a shrine of brass, con- 
taining the bones of the strangled lady, before which a lamp 
is kept burning day and night. In the highest compart- 
ment of this monumental altar is a group of three figures, 
which even at that height appear as large as life. This com- 
position represents the manner of the murder, which was 
performed by strangulation. A cord appears to be twisted 
round the neck of the kneeling female, either end of which 
is in the hand of a ruffian, who is represented as putting 
forth his whole strength to complete the work. The atti- 
tude of one of these, who seems to be pressing his knee 
against the victim, to obtain a better purchase for his pull, 
is horribly true to nature. They sell a little book in the 
church containing St. Godelieve's legend, her litany, and 
some account of her miracles. The following is a transla- 
tion of the legend : — 

" Godelieve was a woman of France, and married a baron 
of Flanders, who, being a very wicked man, and influenced 
by a still more atrocious mother, hated her for her goodness, 
and also for having black hair, unlike the fair girls of his 
own country. He, therefore, had her strangled, but after- 
wards repenting him of the cruel deed, he became a monk 
at Bruges, and subsequently caused this church to be erected 
to her memory." 

1 do not find the name of this saint in the calendar, but 
the miracles recorded to her honour are numerous, and some 
of no distant date. A lively Swiss lady, who was one of 



WESTERN GERMANY. 13 

our 'pic-nic, told me that a saint of older standing who had 
also an altar in the church, had felt himself much offended 
by the superior devotion manifested for the parvenue St. 
Godelieve. How this displeasure was made known I did 
not learn ; but the Cure informed his parishioners that some 
relics of this older saint were certainly concealed near Gliis- 
telles. Accordingly a day was chosen, on which he set out 
at the head of all the faithful to seek for them. They went 
about and about for many hours, but found nothing; at 
length the Cure declared he could go no farther, for his 
limbs refused to support him ; and so saying, he stretched 
himself on the earth. After some time, he again attempted 
to proceed; but was still unable to move. "My children,'' 
he repeated, *'I can go no further; — search here, even here, 
where my strength failed me." They did so — and, vv-on- 
derful to tell, found a finger bone exactly at the spot where 
the pious man had laid him down to rest. 

This well-authenticated finger of the saint was conveyed 
to his altar, and enshrined with all the observant devotion 
for which les braves Beiges are so justly celebrated. It has 
already wrought many wonderful miracles ; and, to use the 
words of our bright-eyed chronicler, " La pauvre St. Go- 
delieve a perdu la plus grande partie de sa pratique." 

Close to the church is the sight of the old castle of Ghis- 
telles, and some trifling remains of the building may yet be 
traced. 

The prison of the little town is under the same roof as 
the hotel ; a vicinity which would render any long sojourn 
there far from agreeable. We saw two very wretched 
countenances glaring upon us through the bars, at the dis- 
tance of a few feet, as we passed from the door to the car- 
riage. 

From Ghistelles we proceeded to Jabbeke, where the 
Baron von Larebeke has a very handsome residence. Like 
all old mansions of the noblesse in that country, it has its 
tower and its moat. The gardens are large and very full of 
roses, which seem to flourish to perfection in the sandy soil; 
but unfortunately wooden efligies of men and women, paint- 
ed proper, as heralds call it, were almost equally abundant. 
Some of these groups are much too strange for description. 



14 BELGIUM AND 

The baron Was absent, but we were permitted to see the 
chateau. It contains several handsome apartments^ and a 
gallery of pictures, among which are some few originals oi 
the Flemish, and many copies of the Italian schools. Hav- 
ing amused ourselves here till we were a little tired, and 
very hungry, we walked. back to the inn, where we had left 
the carriage ; and sat down to a repast, agreeable in every 
way. 

We returned to Ostend by a different route, that took us 
through Oudenbourg, for the purpose of seeing some of the 
highly cultivated gardens which supply the Ostend market; 
and also to visit a farm belonging to a relation of one of our 
party, which showed us an excellent specimen of the inte- 
rior of a Flemish farm-house. The extremest cleanliness, 
the kindest civility, and a magnificent display of rich cream 
and Valenciennes lace, vv^ere among its most remarkable 
features. We observed also many indications of devout 
Catholicism. Dolls superbly dressed, with lesser dolls 
pinned to their stomachers, to represent the Virgin and 
Child, and crucifixes of various dimensions, were displayed 
in seven different nooks of the principal apartment. 

This room, which was very large, had a neat curtained 
bed. Its snow-white quilt and nicely flounced pillows 
looked as if it were intended only for show. Wesaw, how- 
ev^er, in the.kitchen, and other inferior rooms, preparations 
for sleeping less delicately, the beds being laid literally in 
cupboards ranged against the walls. 

Our lovely Swiss friend coaxed the good woman of the 
liouse to exhibit the stays she wore on great occasions. They 
were unquestionably of many pounds weight; and were fur- 
nished, on both sides with iron bars, which, one should think, 
must enter, if not into her soul, at least into her heart, every 
time she stooped. An examination of this machine enabled 
me to comprehend the meaning of a term in common use 
among us. I have often felt at a loss to know why a lady's 
corset should be termed '^ a pair of stai/s;'' but with this 
massive fiibric before me, I at once perceived its origin and 
meaning. . Ribs of steel are enclosed within it on either side, 
and it could hardly be better described than by calling it a 
pnir of stays, or supports. About halfway down the sides 



WESTERN GERMANY. 15 

of this ponderous structure is a huge solid, roll of stuffing, 
which nearly surrounds the waist, and on this the petticoats 
are suspended. 

After a full examination of this <^' foreign wonder," we 
were shown many singularly-fashioned caps, hordered by 
the most delicate lace. Though the whole CvStablishment 
had an air of comfort and plenty about it, the cos.tly elegance 
of these decorations surprised me. But it was easy to per- 
ceive that a feeling of family dignity was attached to them. 
The blooming daughters of the house, whose bright hair had 
never yet been shaded by anything beyond a ribbon, listened 
to our expressions of admiration, which were carefully in- 
terpreted, with much such satisfaction as the daughter of a 
baron might feel if her paternal castle were the theme of 
praise. 

The dairy at this house was really a beautiful sight, even 
though at one end of it we perceived a nymph skimming 
cream with her fingers. This, indeed, is the universal me- 
thod ; and if anything could reconcile one to the strange 
operation, it would be the delicate rosy tips of the Rubens- 
like fingers we saw so employed. 

I have never in any country remarked finer crops than in 
the sandy plain round Ostend. The mode of husbandry is 
careful and laborious ; but the returns are very great. The 
constant application of manure converts the arid soil into a 
fine loom ; and every inch of it is as carefully weeded as the 
nicest garden. This fatiguing but necessary part of good 
husbandry is performed chiefly by women, who crawl along 
the ground on their hands and knees, and in this attitude 
appear to draw the weeds more efiectually, and with less 
labour, than can be done by stooping. 

The ploughing of this district is, as may be supposed, pe- 
culiarly light ; and is often performed by a single milch cow. 
No part of Flemish farming appeared to me more worthy 
of attention than the general management of their cows. 
They are constantly kept in stables, and fed twice in the 
day with green meat, of almost every possible variety of 
vegetation. The collecting this is one of the many agricul- 
tural labours constantly performed by women ; and it is 
no inconsiderable feature in the picturesque aspect of the 
country that groups of maids and matrons are perpetually 



16 BELGIUM AND 

seen bearing, with wonderful ease and activity of step, enor- 
mous loads of fresh-cut fodder on their heads. I have seen 
many a pair of bright eyes, and many a dimpled cheek, 
peeping out sometimes from a bundle of flowery clover, 
sometimes from a bush formed of the young shoots of forest- 
trees, and not unfrequently from the thrifty gatherings of 
every weed, or handful of tufted grass that grows beside the 
road. That there is much economy of everything but la- 
bour in this, is very evident; and, as far as I was able to 
judge, the cows prospered marvellously by this regular mode 
of furnishing their meals in the stall, instead of permitting 
them to be constantly browsing in the fields. I never met 
with either bad butter or adulterated milk; and it appeared 
to me that there was a greater abundance, and freer use of 
both, than I had been accustomed to see elsewhere. 

I rejoiced to find myself, on the 9th of June, in so very 
Catholic a country ; for the ceremonies by which the Fete- 
Dieii was celebrated were really splendid, considering the 
size of the town. The streets were lined with double rows 
of young straight-grown fir-trees ; every house being charg- 
ed with the expense of purchasing such, and having them 
stuck in for the occasion. In the open places of the city, 
groups of these same slender trees supported wreaths and 
garlands of flowers, under which the host was carried in a 
splendid ark. 

The Cure, who bore this in his hands, was himself superb- 
ly dressed ; and at each corner of the canopy, borne above 
his head, walked a child of four or five years old, in fancy 
costume, that looked as if it had been arranged by a ballet- 
master. Three of them had wings; and the fourth, dressed 
as an infant St. John, would have been a beautiful model 
fur a painter. The procession consisted of all the military 
in the garrison, a numerous cortege of priests, with their at- 
tendants, and the various associated companies of the town. 
But by far the prettiest part of the spectacle consisted of the 
double ro V of little girls, elegantly dressed in white, their 
heads adorned with wreaths of roses, and long white veils. 
Above two hundred of these pretty creatures, looking all 
smiles and gladness, followed the host ; and when the pro- 
cession paused, while the awful symbol was laid on the altar 
of the different re.po&oirs prepared to receive it, they, as well 



WESTERN GERMANY. 1 / 

as the assembled multitude, who followed them, prostrated 
themselves upon the ground before it. The children all 
visited the Cure in his sacristy as soon as the ceremony was 
over, and each received from him a little cornet of bonbons. 

I made many visits during the progress of the procession, 
with my friend, Mrs. F , to houses advantageously situ- 
ated for giving a good view of it. This seemed to be the 
fashion, for we met large parties at several of them. Some 
of these houses were extremely handsome and well fitted up. 

After all this was over, we went with the party to visit a 
rustic hotel, at the distance of two miles from Ostend, where 
a dinner had been bespoken for us. To see the master of 
this establishment was the chief object of the excursion ; and 
he is, indeed, a very interesting personage. Without edu- 
cation, or advantage of any kind, beyond what his own ac- 
tive intellect and industry supplied, this M. Paret has made 
himself an excellent naturalist; and has collected a valuable 
cabinet of curious specimens in various branches of science. 
In particular, he has many beautifully arranged skeletons of 
remarkable fish, put together by himself. Of his ability in 
this branch of art, all those may judge, who saw the skele- 
ton of the whale exhibited in the King's Mews ; for the 
preparation of it. was entirely the work of his hands. This 
whale v/as thrown upon the beach at Ostend, in 1827, and 
was purchased, from those who had a right to sell it, for the 
sum of one thousand francs. The purchaser immediately 
asked, and obtained, the willing aid of Paret; and by him it 
was arranged exactly as it was afterwards exhibited. It is 
painful to add, that for this laborious work the skilful artist 
is said never to have received any remuneration. 

On the 10th of June we proceeded to Bruges, accompa- 
nied by the friends whose kindness had contrived to render 
Ostend extremely agreeable to us, notwithstanding the vexa- 
tious accident which had detained us there. 

We travelled by one of the pretty packet-boats that navi- 
gate the noble canal ; choosing this mode of conveyance 
both because it was the easiest for my son, and also that we 
might see a work superior to everything of the kind in 
Europe ; for in China only, as we were told, can a still more 
superb canal be seen. 

Bruges, and the country round it, is as flat as Ostend, but 

3 



18 BELGIUM AND 

there is much to see and admire. Tliis fine old city was 
former]}^ the cajDital of Flanders, and remained so till the 
end of the fifteenth century, being; the great Flemish depot 
for the commerce of the Hanseatic League. This was the 
source of its vast wealth ; and to this may be traced the re- 
lics of former magnificence, which are still to be found 
there. When the monopoly was transferred to Antwerp, 
both the splendour and activity of Bruges declined ; and I 
was very gravely assured, that its principal trade at present 
is in beer and manure. 

In fact, there is no appearance of commerce in any part 
of the city. A walk through the fine old streets, vvith their 
high pointed mansions, and richly carved ornaments, is like 
looking over a portfolio of Front's best drawings — but there 
are very few figures in active movement to enliven them. 
Nevertheless, it was far from being a " dull town to me." 
There is noj^^quarter that has not some historic record attach- 
ed to it to excite interest, and gratify curiosity ; and it is^, 
therefore, notwithstanding its stillness,vvell worthy of de- 
taining the traveller for several days. Many of the houses 
are extremely handsome, and almost all appear comfortable, 
and scrupulously clean. I never saw a city in which so little 
appearance of poverty met my eye. I was told that sixteen 
thousand of the inhabitants (the whole number being thirty- 
seven thousand) receive aid from public charities. Beggars 
are certainly seen at the church doors, but the streets exhibit 
no traces of want, or even of discomfort. 

The tower of the Hotel de Ville is magnificent ; and 
those who take the trouble to climb it are rewarded not only 
by the panorama of the city, but b}^ so extended and unbro- 
ken a map of the country round it, as leaves a more graphic 
impression of Flemish scenery on the memory than can be 
obtained by any other means. 

The machinery of the chimes, which occupies a room 
near the top of the tower, is another reward of the labour. 
It is surprisingly ingenious and elaborate. The enormous 
barrel, upon which a vast variety of tunes are arranged, is 
of brass ; and is really one of the handsomest instruments 
I ever saw. 

The building containing the public library ought not to 
remain unseen. Its external form and proportions are 



WESTERN GERMANY. 19 

singularly elegant. The cathedral church of St. Sauveur is 
rich, almost to excess, in ever}'' species of internal decora- 
tion. Carving, gilding, and massive silver, tapestry, paint- 
ing, and sculpture, are all lavished up6n it in profusion ; but 
the fame of the church rests chiefly on two statues ; one of 
these is the Virgin and Child, said to be by Michael Angelo ; 
the other, a figure of the Almighty, by whose hand I know 
not; but it is a composition of wonderful power and ma- 
jesty. 

Notre Dame, standing as close to St. Sauveur as St. Mar- 
garet's to Westminster Abbey, is large, but very inferior in 
splendour to its magnificent neighbour. It has the honour, 
however, of containing the bones of Charles the Bold, and 
his daughter Mary, the wife of Maximilian. Their tombs 
of touchstone, superbly decorated, are most costly monu- 
mental structures, and are carefully enclosed in wooden 
cases, re-moved only on the payment of a fee. 

I dare not rehearse all that I saw at Bruges which appeared 
to me worthy of attention ; for the catalogue would be too 
long for any to read with patience, unless they were about 
to set ofi' at the instant to visit this museum of antiquities. 

The friends who so kindly accompanied us from Ostend 
introduced us to many of their Bruges acquaintance, which 
certainly increased the pleasure of our stay in no trifling 
degree. Among these I may take the liberty of naming 
one, who is already too well known to the public to make 
my doing so impertinent. M. Moke, the author of Her- 
mann, is so enthusiastic in his love and admiration of Bruges, 
and so learnedly familiar with its history, as to make him an 
invaluable companion among its venerable archives, and 
mouldering grandeur. It may, perhaps, be partly ovving to 
-my having listened to its records from so eloquent an histo- 
rian; and from having the splendid relics of its brighter days 
pointed out to me witli equal taste and feeling, that I remem- 
ber this old city with more of interest and admiration than 
is usually bestowed upon it. 

Bruges is often passed almost unnoticed by travellers, 
whose ultimate object is the Rhine or Switzerland ; and 
while their imaginations are flying forward to rocks and 
mountains, they scorn the cities of the plain which leads to 
iheni. 1 strongly recommend all travellers through Bel- 



20 BELGIUM AND 

gium to devote at least three days to making themselves well 
acquainted with the interesting antiquities of Bruges. If 
they have the good fortune to be introduced to the society 
of the place, they will be willing to stay much longer. 

By what I saw and heard, evening parties are frequent 
and very agreeable ; though not splendid or ostentatious in 
any way. We passed one very pleasant evening at the house 
of M. Moke. The party was small, but so agreeable as to 
make me think with something like vexation of the enor- 
mous throngs, which jostle each other from house to house 
through a midsummer evening in London. We had sing- 
ing, that might have made Pasta herself look about her (but 
this was from an English-woman); and then we fell into 
some of those playful exercises of wit and fancy for which 
the French language is so admirably adapted. ' As I listened 
to hit after hit, in this trial of wordy skill, I thought that 
those, who try the same pastime in England, would do well 
to adopt the language too. It would not only render 
their bon-mots more piquant, but familiarize them with the 
use of a tongue, which will carry them further over Europe 
than any other. It may be childish, perhaps, to indulge in 
such a sport, and still more childish to record.it; but, never- 
theless, 1 own to having been very much amused. — Every 
one's faculties were brought into play. 

"From every bead 
A lambent flame (of wit) arose, wbicb g'ently spread 
Around tbe brows, and on the fancy fed," 

When we had laughed till we were weary, we were 
refreshed by wine, cakes, and the linest fruit of the season j 
and so ended the soiree. 

The old paintings in the hospital of St. John are among 
the things that must be seen at Bruges. In the chapel they 
show a coffer, said to contain a bone of St. Ursula, the exte- 
rior case of which is painted on panel by Hemling, with a 
delicacy of finish that is perfectly astonishing. The subject 
is the dismal history of the arrival of her eleven thousand 
virgins at Cologne ; and the number of figures introduced 
defies any reasonable hope of graceful composition ; but in 
in the year 1579, this was a branch of the art not well under- 
stood ; and no deficiency in it could have lowered the esti- 



WESTERN GERMANY. 21 

Illation in which this gem must have been held. It is still 
*^a thing to wonder at;" but in the sixteenth century it 
might almost have been deemed miraculous. 

On leaving the chapel, I accepted the invitation of a Ca- 
tholic lady, to accompany her round the female wards of the 
hospital. The rest of the party declined joining us, from 
a fear of encountering disagreeable objects ; but they were 
wrong. The pain, which the sight, or even the idea of 
human suffering must ever occasion, was a thousand times 
overbalanced by the pleasure of witnessing the tender care 
the sedulous attention, the effective usefulness of those 
heavenly-minded beings, Les Soeurs de la Charite. It is 
they who are the oniy nurses in this large establishment. — - 
Unpaid, uncontrolled by any, they give their lives to com- 
fort and help those, who would find neither comfort nor help 
without them. 

I remember being told, by a lively young woman in 
America, who was sadly tormented by her "helps," that 
her only idea of heaven was a place full of servants. With 
a little variation I could almost echo her phrase, and say, 
that my idea of heaven was a place filled with Sisters of 
Charity. 

Perhaps I shall hear that I am turned Catholic, if I 
confess that the treasured symbols of that demonstrative 
faith, which I there saw so fondly cherished in the hour of 
suffering and of death, touched my heart more than it offended 
my orthodoxy. The dying eye, expending its last beam in 
a look of confiding hope at the image of the Redeemer, at 
that moment suggested no idea of superstition. 

One of the curiosities of Bruges, that I will not omit to 
mention, though I confess I have great doubts of the vera- 
city of the legend on which its chief interest rests, is the 
little building called the Jerusalem Chapel. It is said to 
have been built by a burgomaster of the city, most accu- 
rately on the model of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. 
This story, which was pointed out to me in a very ancient 
volume of tlie city library, states that the pious founder of 
the chapel himself made three pilgrimages to Jerusalem, to 
ascertain some d'oubtful points in the architecture; but, at 
last, the vow he had registered to complete a faithful copy, 
was declared to be fully accomplished; and this memorial 



22 BELGIUM AND 

of his piety is preserved with all the care which a huilding, 
bearing such a form, might be expected to meet in one of 
the most deeply Catholic cities left on the earth. It is a 
singular little edifice; and those who love things out of the 
common way, will think it worth visiting. 

There is a very grotesque group, and well vvorth looking 
at, in alto relievo, over the door of a brewhouse; but I can- 
not instruct any traveller where to find it, as I totally forget 
the name of the street. It represents, in a very catholic 
manner, the process of brewing. There are several figures 
employed in mashing, and cooling, and putting the beer 
into casks, while winged seraphs are seen tasting it; and 
the Virgin Mary, with the infant Jesus in her arms, sits 
apart to superintend the whole. 

At Bruo;es, and, as we afterwards found,. in' many other 
Flemish towns, they have a weekly market for the sale of 
every kind of second-hand goods, which is called le Marche 
au Vendredi. This is well worth seeing. It is always 
held in some open place of the town, and ofiers a most sin- 
gular spectacle. Beds and pictures, kettles and old clothes, 
books and fire-irons, and thousands of other heterogeneous 
articles, are all displayed together in most orderly confusion. 
Where this weekly display of worn-out trash can come 
from is puzzling; but it is still more so, to imagine how so 
many persons of various ranks, and always with some highly 
respectable among them, can be found to fancy every 
seventh day that they have need of such trumpery; yet I 
never saw a Marche au Vendredi that was not thronged. 

Our accommodations at the Hotel de Commerce were ex- 
cellent. We dined twice, during our stay, at the table 
d'hote, where a very good dinner is very neatly served for 
two francs a-head. When we dined in our own apartments, 
the expense was about double ; but we might then have 
fancied ourselves at one of the best restaurants in Paris. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 23 



CHAPTER li; 

Ghent — Antiquities — St. Bavon — The University — Schamp's Collection 
— Bull Fight — Espions — Beguinage — St. Michael's — Antwerp — Span- 
ish Air — Effects of the Siege. 

Our Ostend friends still accompanied us when we left 
Bruges for Ghent. The distance is about twenty-one Eng- 
lish miles. Here again we found ourselves surrounded by 
buildings of the most picturesque form and colour; with the 
additional novelty of numerous canals cutting through the 
town in all directions, and connecting the rivers Scheldt and 
Lys. 

Volumes might be fairly and worthily filled by mere 
catalogues of the antiquities which an industrious amateur 
might find in these glorious old Flemish towns. No story 
of the days that are gone, though we have had some which 
seemed to bring past ages before us by an enchanter's wand, 
can throw so forcible a light on that portion of history 
which relates to the period of Flemish splendour, as the 
sight of these laboured relics themselves. We read, in most 
speaking hieroglyphics, through every street, a commentary 
on the manners, customs, wealth, and taste of this interest- 
ing country. 

The vast warerooms reaching up to the very pinnacle of 
the steep and pointed gable that finishes the richly-orna- 
mented mansion, show that the wealthy merchant lived 
splendidly under the same roof which sheltered his wai-es; 
while the large door-way that opens from more than one of 
the upper stories, and not seldom the traces of a crane be- 
side it, prove that the portly dames who sat in the '^ look- 
out," had no objection to seeing the merchandise, on which 
their style and state depended, hoisted and lowered before 
their windows. Then rises close beside the merchant's 
house, the proud tower which marks the dwelling of a 
noble. None else were permitted to erect this symbol of 
power and dignity. 

At one point is seen the costly stadt-house, ornamented 



24 BELGIUM AND 

with carving without and painting within, of a finish which 
must have heen paid hy most unsparing expenditure of" civic 
gold. At another rises a magnificent church, so grand in 
its conception, so gorgeous in its decoration, and so abound- 
ing in riches of every kind, as to tell loudly of the wealth 
of those by whom its pillared aisles were reared, and its 
accumulated treasures deposited. 

In short, it appeared to me that, instead of treating Flan- 
ders merely as a high road to the Rhine, all who have time, 
and feel pleasure in examining objects, the ideas of which 
have been long familiar to them, should pause long, and 
study carefully, every city on the route. 

Two young students of the University assisted our kind 
companions in showing all that was most interesting in 
Ghent. And here, as at Bruges, the variety of objects 
makes it difficult to rehearse what we saw. The magnificent 
cathedral of St. Bavon was the first thing visited. This 
church is more than ordinarily interesting in every way. 
It is of great antiquity, and full of interesting memorials 
relative to the history of the city, and indicative of its 
former importance. There are several inscriptions in the 
choir, which commemorate the institution of the order of 
the Golden Fleece, by Philip the Good; and the different 
chapters of the order which have been held in the church. 
The date of .the first is 1440. The length and height of the 
aisles are magnificent ; and the choir a perfect museum of 
splendid decorations. In a chapel to the north of the high 
altar is a fine picture by Rubens, painted for the place where 
it hangs. It represents St. Bavon in the act of renouncing 
the things of this world, and distributing his wealth to the 
poor. . The whole composition is very fine; and a group in 
the foreground, of a womanjon her knees, with two chil- 
dren, most lovely. 

The pulpit of this church is considered to be one of the 
richest in Flanders, both in style and execution. It is a 
mixture of carved wood and white marble, having many 
parts very richly gilt. Notwithstanding all the splendour 
of this superb cathedral, the portion of it which gave me 
most pleasure, was the subterranean church beneath. There 
is something so solemn in its sombre vastness, and so vene- 
rable in its untouched antiquity, that 1 returned to its dark 



WESTERN GERMANY. 25 

aisles more than once; and examined the naked strength 
and capacious irregularity of the structure with more inte- 
rest, and a more awakened imagination, Ihan all the magnifi- 
cence above had excited. 

In fact, one feels in every fine old church, however re- 
mote its date, and unquestioned its antiquity, that every age 
which has passed over it has changed its aspect, as much as 
it has increased its splendour. But when standing among 
the sturdy pillars of the subterranean St. Bavon, the thou- 
sand years that have rolled by since its roughly-hewn stones 
were piled together seem to vanish ; and you see at a glance 
how the Christians of 800 wrought. 

I remember feeling something of the same effect in the 
underground church at Canterbury ; but it is by no means 
equal in any way to that of Ghent. Almost all the princi- 
pal churches in Catholic towns are called cathedrals, though 
many of them have neither bishop nor chapter. St. Bavon's, 
however, is really such ; and 1 had the great delight of hear- 
ing and seeing a Sunday high mass performed there. The 
music was very fine ; many stringed instruments adding 
their clear and thrilling notes to those of the organ. The 
bishop himself, and a very large assemblage of the clergy of 
the cathedral, assisted at the ceremony ; and, altogether, the 
service was performed with a degree of dignity and solemn 
stateliness, which no difference of faith could prevent my 
feeling to be deeply and religiously impressive. 

The University of Ghent is a very handsome building, 
erected by the king of Holland. The portico is Grecian, 
and of noble dimensions ; and the circular hall, for the 
examination of the students, peculiarly elegant ; — but the 
name of William of Holland is effaced from the inscription 
on the portico ; and a sheet of white paper covers his coat 
of arms, which are embroidered on the drapery on one side 
of this graceful amphitheatre. It was very evident, by the 
tone in which one or two young men who had joined us 
spoke of this eclipse, that it was considered as throwing a 
shade over the glory of Ghent. In truth, king William has 
been a most munificent patron to the town ; and it can sur- 
prise no one that his name should still be pronounced there 
with affection and regret. 

The collection of objects in natural history appears to be 

4 



26 BELGIUM AND 

admirably arranged, and the whole establishment is one that 
would do honour to any country. 

In the church of St. Michael is an excellent picture by 
Vandyke, but in very bad condition. The Academy of 
Painting contains good and sufficient rooms for any institu- 
tion of the kind ; but the collection of pictures is most 
lamentably French. It is grievous, in a country teeming 
with the works of Vandyke and Rubens, to see the wretched 
school of David prevailing so generally among the young 
artists. One fine well-lighted room is entirely occupied by 
pictures to which the annual prizes have been awarded for 
the last twenty years. They are all of them strictly after the 
French school. One of our spring fashions in London is to 
declare unanimously, every year, that '• the. Exhibition at 
Somerset-house is very so, so ;" — '^ very little worth look- 
ing at;" and the like. I wish all our critics would pass a 
few months on the continent, expressly for the purpose of 
making themselves well acquainted with its modern pictures. 
I think they would return much less dissatisfied with our 
own. 

The Baron von Schamp's collection is too well known to 
make the mention of it useful to English travellers ; but it is 
difficult not to uidulge in the pleasure of dwelling on the 
recollection of such a treat. The tvvo full-length portraits 
of Vandyke — Rembrandt's portrait of himself — and, above 
all else, the "Annunciation" of Corregio, will, I hope and 
believe, never pass from my memory. To insure this, as 
much as my time at Ghent permitted, I visited the collection 
twice, remaining there tvvo or three hours each time ; and I 
do not recollect ever enjoying pictures more completely. — 
There is just as much attendance on the part of the person 
who shows them as is necessary, and no more — no throng 
of company to step between you and the object of your con- 
templation; and no yawning, weary servant to hasten the 
delightful lounge to its close. I never saw any painting 
that I so much coveted for our national gallery, as the little 
picture of Corregio above named. In taste, feeling, compo- 
sition, and execution, it is exactly what I should w^ish to 
place for ever before the eyes of our students. The com- 
position consists of a single figure. No visible angel divides 
the attention with this sweet portraiture of the Virgin. — 



WESTERN GERMANY. 27 

Mary is holding a small volume in her hand, which one feels 
certain is the Bible; she has closed the book but her thumb 
is between the leaves, at the passage which has caused her 
to pause in meditation. Her eyes are 'raised to heaven with 
an expression of such deep and earnest devotion, as instantly 
to suggest the idea of her having just read the words of 
Isaiah, ^'a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son;" and of her 
feeling that she, even she, might be the chosen one. A ray 
from heaven falls upon her uplifted face, and cold must be 
the heart, and dead the fancy, that does not feel the holy 
beauty of the idea. 

If one of the very few showers which annoyed us during 
the summer had not chanced to fall at Ghent on the evening 
of the 16th of June, I should have been present at a bull- 
fight, notwithstanding the disgust which the idea of such a 
spectacle suggested. The advertisement made me expect to 
witness something in the true Spanish style, where men 
were the combatants instead of dogs. This horror, as we 
were assured, is sanctioned by the Belgic laws : and does not 
seem to be considered either as degrading to the men, or 
cruel to the beast engaged in it. Though I would willingly 
have enabled myself to give some account of an amusement 
so truly foreign, I was not very sorry, at the moment, to 
escape it ; yet, by what I afterwards heard, there is more 
trick than daring in the matador, who, however, stops short 
of deserving the title; and the scene in the arena has about 
as much resemblance to the awful bull-fights of old, as the 
simagrees between Miss Jacko, and those who acted with 
her, to the chances of a genuine elephant hunt. 

The fashion of having " espions" at the windows, though 
we remarked it in every city through which we ppssed, is 
more than usually prevalent at Ghent, Notwit'istanding 
its being evidently so very comsnon a contrivance, it was 
quite new to me ; and as it is possible it may be equally so 
to others, 1 mention it as being certainly connected with 
national manners. By means of mirrors pl.iced on the out- 
side of the dravv^ing-room windows, those v^ho sit within are 
enabled to see all that passes without; and yet never be 
guilty of the indecorum of a])pearing at the window. As 
these machines are arranged with hinges, which admit of 
every variety of position, they are not unfrequently so 



28 1 BELGIUM AND 

placed as to present to the passer-by, the reflection of a 
pretty face, while the person to whom it belongs is safely 
ensconced within. The first time I saw one of these con- 
trivances my attention was drawn to it by the vision of a 
young bright-looking countenance, peeping at me from 
amidst a profusion of ringlets; and as it was surrounded by 
a square frame, I thought, at the first glance, that it was a 
picture, hung out at the window to show that portraits, done 
in the same style, were to be seen within. A few steps in 
advance showed me who the artist was. 

There are still several convents left in Flanders; and we 
frequently saw, both at Bruges and Ghent, Beguine sisters 
in the streets and markets. At the latter place, the Be- 
guinage is a very handsome establishment. We attended 
the salut in their chapel, and saw seven hundred of them at 
their devotions. The effect of this large assemblage of 
kneeling nuns was very beautiful. Many were in the 
bloom of youth, and the costume is far from unbecoming. 
When the service ended they all rose, and many drew near 
the altar to perform some little additional act of devotion, 
or of penitence, on the steps of it. As each prepared to 
depart she took off* her veil, which is of delicately white 
linen, and, folding it up, placed it flat upon the top of her 
head ; producing exactly the effect of the square head-dress 
with which we are so familiar in Italian pictures. 

The knowledge that these secluded women might be 
absolved from their vows, if they became weary of the 
peaceful but monotonous life they enjoin, prevented the 
spectacle from exciting in us any painful feeling of regret 
for tKe sacrifice they had made of the joys, the hopes, and 
affections of the world. It is very rarely, however, as we 
were assured from many quarters, that any are found who 
wish to talie advantage of this. They live with great com- 
fort, their moderate incomes producing, when thrown to- 
gether, a revenue more than equal to their expenses. The 
whole establishment, with its church, is enclosed within 
walls, which may, however, be freely entered at all hours of 
the day. They are not lodged in one large building, as is 
usual in other convents, but have quite a little town within 
their walls, each house of which is inhabited by one or more 
sisters and their servants. These houses have most of them 



WESTERN GERMANY. 29 

the names of the inhabitants on a plate over the door, as 
"Sister Bertha," "Sister Gertrude;" and on others we 
read '^ Sainte Adelaide," "Sainte Lucia," and so on. 
Many ladies of good families reside jfmong them, and we 
saw more than one handsome carriage at their doors. I 
believe they are chosen as godmothers for half the popula- 
tion; and altogether seem, as far as I could judge, to be of 
more consequence, each in her own circle, than they would 
have been had they retained their situations as individual 
single women, instead of becoming members of a large com- 
munity. 

Mr. H. being desirous of taking a sketch from a nun in 
full costum.e, expressed the wish to a lady to whom he had 
been introduced. She was a Catholic, and having some 
friend or relation in a convent of Ste. Therese, kindly un- 
dertook to procure him the opportunity he wished. He 
accompanied her to the gates, which were opened by an 

aged sister, to v/hom JNladame L explained the motive 

of her visit, requesting to see sister , naming a junior 

member of the community. 

" Should not I serve the purpose as well?" inquired the 
venerable nun. 

Mr. H. looked dismayed ; Madame L. hesitated. 

"We all wear the same habit;" persisted the old woman. 

But a whispered word of entreaty from the disappointed 
artist induced Madame L. to persevere in her request; and 
they were ushered into a parlour, where a very pretty young 
woman soon appeared. Mr. H. immediately drew out his 
sketch-book. 

^' I hope it is for the honour of the good cause," said the 
young nun. 

' Madame L. assured her that she might be certain of it ; 
and a very pretty drawing was made. 

On the 17th of June we left Ghent for Antwerp; and 
again had the satisfaction of prevailing on our friends from 
Ostend to prolong their excursion for a few days. Though 
the roads through Flanders have no beauty of scenery to 
recommend them, they are by no means without interest, 
especially in the summer. The country is a perfect garden; 
every inch is cultivated ; and the variety of crops standing 
together without the interval of hedges, or division of any 



30 BELGIUM AND 

kind, I think enhances the idea of their profuse abundance. 
It was, however, only when they began reaping their abun- 
dant harvest, that we became fully aware of the prodigious 
fertilit}'^ of the soil. It seemed like cutting a slice out of a 
solid cake. The simile is not elegant, perhaps, but no 
other image suggests itself. 

Between Ghent and Antwerp \we passed through the little 
town of St. Nicholas, said to be the largest flax market in 
the world. It is better to travel through its vicinity during 
the early summer, than the early autumn; for from the time 
the delicate flax crop ceases to wave its slight blue bells in 
fields, to that in which it assumes the dainty form of lace or 
cambric thread, it perfectly poisons the air. 

The direct carriage-road from Ghent to Antwerp is by the 
Tete de Flandre; but owing to the inundation, occasioned 
by cutting the dykes during the bombardment of the town, 
we were oblig;ed to leave the road and embark on the Scheldt. 
It is a noble river, as all the world knovvs; but at this time 
the objects visible from it, on approaching Antwerp, are more 
than usually interesting. The ruined citadel, the dilapida- 
ted depots, and the inundated plain, all spoke of recent war 
and havoc. But as we advanced our eyes rose from earth 
to heaven, as the beautiful spire of the cathedral became vi- 
sible. It is nowhere seen to greater advantage, in respect 
to its light and graceful proportions, than froni the river ; but 
the ornaments are too intricate and delicate to show them- 
selves well at any great distance ; and till you are near 
enough to distinguish these, I think the general effect would 
be better were the outline more simple. 

We took up our quarters at the^r^//2^ Hotel St.Jlntoine^ 
fromthe windows of which this elegant spire may be studied 
to great advantage. The circumstance that most forcibly 
struck me, on my first walk through Antwerp, was the 
Spanish air of the women. We had retnarked something 
of this, both at Bruges and Ghent, but by no means in so 
great a degree. At Antwerp the mantilla is universal among 
the women. The higher classes indeed, there, as ever3^where 
else, are as nearly Parisian in appearance as they can con- 
trive to be ; but many among the wealthy bourgeoisie wear 
this graceful drapery of costly materials, and arranged with 
great care and elegance. In many instances the cloak is 



WESTERN GERMANY. 31 

changed for an ample veil of rich black silk, that complete- 
ly envelopes the head and shoulders. In both dresses the face 
is concealed in a considerable degree ; and when in the act 
of devotion, no part of the countenance is permitted to be 
visible. The long black rows of veiled heads, which we 
constantly saw in the churches, often made me fancy myself 
surrounded by nuns. 

Nor is it in tlie dress alone that the Flemish citizens show 
traces of their Spanish ancestors. We remarked many 
beautiful women, who, both in feature and complexion, gave 
indication of southern forefathers. Yet, if I mistake not, it 
was under Philip the. Second that Flanders revolted from 
Spain. One should imagine that years enough had passed 
over them to obliterate all this ; but, most assuredly, the 
fact is otherwise. The deep Catholicism too, so infinitely 
beyond that of any neighbouring people, cannot, I think, 
be so reasonably traced to any other source. 

Here, again, as in the other cities we had passed through, 
we enjoyed that peculiar and vivid species of pleasure which 
results from encountering, at every step, some record of long- 
past events, made familiar to us by history, and the confir- 
mation or destruction of the various fanciful minutiae with 
which imagination had connected them. I hardly think that 
Rome itself can furnish such an incessant succession of pic- 
tures as Belgium. I do not mean on panel or canvass, but 
in all the startling, powerful force of reality. The pictur- 
esque outlines of the buildings, their rich and harmonious 
colouring, together with the costume of every group you 
meet, arrange themselves into compositions of wonderful 
grace and interest. 

The recent siege furnished but too many additions to 
these. I had never seen with my own eyes the horrors pro- 
duced by war, till I visited Antwerp ; and I shuddered at 
remembering, while I looked on the desolation it had left, 
how lightly I had heard its short and unimportant history 
mentioned. The crumbling ruins of many public buildings, 
and the dismal stillness of the dismantled warehouses, are 
sad spectacles ; but these are gay, compared to the fearful 
waste of waters that lie upon the ruined hopes of the poor 
peasantry. I had so lately been occupied in wondering at 
the teeming plenty of the land, that this miserable contrast 



32 GERMANY AND 

came upon mc with double horror. Seven prosperous vil- 
lages have been swept away by the flood produced by open- 
ing the dikes. Their steeples alone remain above the wa- 
ter to show that they have been. 

It is remarkable that, notwithstanding the excessive suf- 
fering which this must have produced, no feeling of enmity 
is expressed by the inhabitants against General Chasse. On 
the contrary, his conduct is declared to have been as humane 
and considerate towards the town, as the nature of the task 
enjoined him would permit ; and, in proof of this, a hand- 
some piece of plate has been subscribed for, and presented 
to him by the citizens, as a memorial of their gratitude. In 
fact, I believe that no people engaged in the painful labour 
of repairing the devastation of a siege, ever looked upon the 
enemy who carried it on with so gentle and forgiving an eye 
as the worthy inhabitants of Antwerp. They certainly have 
not forgotten old attachments in recent disunion. 



WESTERN GERMANY, 33 



CHAPTER III. 

Antwerp — Notre Dame— Rubens — Academy— Vandyke — Calvary — Pass- 
ports — Voitures — Arrival at Brussels — Belgian Politics — M. Alexandre 
Rodenbach — Chamber of Representatives — Duel — Society — Palace of 
the Prince of Orange — Mint— MM. Vandermaelen — M. Robyns — Du 
Bos — Theatre — St. Gudule — Old Town — Louvain — Tervueren — Dila- 
pidations — Tree of Liberty. 

Though I am quite determined not to omit the mention 
of any object which particularly interested me, merely be- 
cause it has often been mentioned before, yet I fear I may 
not venture to indulge in speaking much at length of the 
churches-of Belgium. There is something dangerously be- 
guiling in the subject. It is so eas}^ to recall to one's self 
where and how the effect produced by each noble pile differ- 
ed or agreed. The rich windows here, the graceful arches 
there ; the stupendous roof of one, and the wondrous aisles 
of another ; all come so readily back to one's own eye, and 
are so difficult to set before the eyes of another, that, I be- 
lieve, the safest way will be to pass my pen through all notes 
respecting them, written in the moment of enthusiasm. 

But for this precaution, I might be tempted to transcribe 
many a futile page, descriptive of the church of Notre Dame 
at Antwerp. It is indeed a noble edifice ; and one might 
almost be excused for losing one's self, for a while, amid the 
pillared labyrinths of its seven aisles. The acknowledged 
chef-d'oeuvre of Rubens hangs in this church. The Descent 
'from the Cross is, indeed, a powerful picture; and exhibits, 
most splendidly, all the various species of excellence for 
which the pencil of Rubens is celebrated ; yet it did not 
quite realize the expectations I had formed of it. The atti- 
tude of St. John has more of the graceful posture-master, 
than of the desolate disciple in it ; and the gorgeous colour- 
ing of the picture, richly harmonious as it is, seems more in 
accordance with the taste of the artist, than with the tone of 
the scene. 

I had the courage to mount the lofty steeple, and was 

5 



34 BELGIUM AND 

rewarded by having Bergen-op-Zoom, Flushing, Breda; 
Ghent, and Mechlin pointed out as visible specks in the dis- 
tance. Though quite cairn below, tlie wind was tremendous 
at the elevation to which we had climbed, but I battled it 
stoutly for half an hour. From this height the devastations 
of the siege may be fully traced in every direction ; and the 
sight is sad enough. 

On the following day we crossed the Scheldt, to see the 
works by which the Belgians are endeavouring to repair the 
breach in the dike. A thousand workmen are employed 
upon it ; but they proceed very slowly, as the tide sometimes 
destroys in a night the work of many days. 

The Academy contains a large collection of pictures, and 
many of tliem are of first-rate excellence. Among these is 
one by Vandyke, which if placed beside the Rubens of 
Notre Dame, would exemplify perfectly what it is that I 
found, or fancied, wanting in that master-piece. The scene 
and the persons are the same ; the time somewhat later. The 
body of Jesus is laid on the lap of his mother ; St. John is 
placed near her, holding one of the Saviour's hands ; and 
the Magdalen stands quietly apart, looking with tearful eyes 
at the group. The agony of the mother is the most speak- 
ing passion I ever saw upon canvas ; and the sober tone of 
the whole picture is in beautiful accordance with the awful 
hour. 

We made many attempts to see the citadel, having flatter- 
ed ourselves that an application from a diplomatic friend, 
who was with us, must meet a favourable answer ; but in 
this we were disappointed. The impediments thrown in 
our way seemed frivolous and vexatious in no common de- 
gree. Sometimes our applications were answered by words 
of hope and civility ; but delay was always the sequel ; till 
at last we gave up the attempt rather in disgust than despair. 

There is a singular monkish relic at Antwerp, less known 
and visited than, I think, its elaborate piety deserves. This 
is a representation of Calvary at the ancient convent of the 
Dominicans. It is reared with an almost grotesque boldness 
of design against the church of St. Paul's, which formerly 
made part of the convent. This church forms one side of 
an interior court, into which the convent windows look ; 
and against it, mounting to the very top of the building, is 



WESTERN GERMANY. 35 

the extraordinary collection of statues and ol rocks, which 
they call Mount. Calvary. There are above sixty figures as 
large as life. I believe the whole to be in stone ; but the 
effect very nearly approaches that of 'inarble ; and some of 
the groups have a very graceful and impjosing outline. The 
entire area of the court is converted into a sort of Pantheon 
of saints, statues of half the calendar being stuck about in 
all directions. ' 

The Holy Sepulchre is at the foot of the mount ; and is 
at present guarded by an old woman, who for two sous opens 
the grated door, and permits you to enter. Nothing can be 
more lamentably ludicrous than this part of the show. The 
figure of the Saviour is dressed in a drapery of tawdry 
muslin and lace; and a dingy little lamp burns at its feet. 

Our last hours at Antwerp were rendered extremely tedi- 
ous and unprofitable by the difficulty of getting our passports 
returned to us. The first annoyance was being told, when 
we sent a commissioner for them, that they woiild not be 
given to him, but that we must go ourselves. We did so; 
but found the office shut. We were assured, however, by 
many who were standing near, that the person whose duty 
it was to examine them would be there in a few minutes. 
We departed, and returned in half an hour, but the door was 
still closed. Again we departed, and again returned ; but 
still the functionary was not in his place. Nearly half our 
last day at Antwerp was spent thus ; and when at last we 
succeeded in finding the man of office, and informed liim of 
tiie inconvenience to which we had been put by his absence, 
the " brave Beige" put himself into .a very exceeding rage; 
and declared that if another word of the kind were spoken, 
we should not have our passports till the next day, adding 
with much emphasis, " Je crois bien qu'un fonctionaire, quel 
qu'il soit, vaut au moins, autant que le premier venu." 

An English gentleman, who accompanied us to the office, 
advised him 7iot to re/use our passjjorts ; and after a blus- 
tering look or tvv'o at each of us, he condescended to exe- 
cute the duty with which lie was entrusted. 

Soon after this tioublesome business was settled, we took 
leave, with much regret, of the friends who had acconipanied 
us thus far on our journey ; and departed for Brussels in the 
diligence at a late i)our m the cvenmg. Wc afterwards 



36 BELGIUM AND 

found ample reason to repent this arrangement; for we had 
no subsequent opportunity of seeing the beautiful church at 
Mechlin ; and the moonlight just showed enough of its fine 
old tower, as we passed it, to make us exceedingly regret 
not seeing more. 

And here, for the benefit of such of my readers as may 
chance to travel in the same humble style as myself, I may 
observe, that whenever the travelling party exceeds two, the 
diligence is a dearer mode of conveyance than a voiture with 
one pair of horses. If, indeed, speed be an important point, 
the traveller must post with four horses, for in no other way 
can he attain it. But a good voiturier will take you nearly, 
if not quite, as fast as the diligence ; and in this mode you 
are not only master of your own time of setting out and 
arriving, but are not exposed to the vexation of being whirl- 
ed past objects that you are longing to gaze upon. In this 
respect, indeed, posting is very nearly as bad as the diligence, 
for, once started upon a stage, it Would be difficult to make a 
post-boy pause, en route, for your pleasure ; even if St. 
Peter's itself rose up to be looked at midway. 

1 know few things more dismal than arriving in a city be- 
fore its population are awake. This was our fate at Brussels; 
and though we immediatly mounted from the narrow streets 
of the old town to the bright and splendid region of the 
new, it was some hours before we were sufficiently recover- 
ed from our weariness and discomfort to enjoy thoroughly 
the gay aspect of the place. Before the morning was half 
over, however, we were establislied in pleasant apartments 
at the hotel garni on the Boulevard, and quite ready to en- 
joy all the agreeable varieties of one of the prettiest little 
capitals in Europe. 

Every one told us that Brussels was no longer the delight^ 
ful city to dwell in that it had been before the revolution — 
that many families, both native and foreign, had forsaken it 
— and that both pleasure and business went on sluggishly. 
This, I dare say, may be very true ; and yet Brussels is 
still delightful. 

The park, and the handsome streets round it, the Place- 
Royal, the beautiful boulevard, the public buildings, and the 
noble palaces, show themselves better, and altogether pro- 
duce a more brilliant coup-cV(£il than any place I have seen. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 37 

Though we had made no very long abode in Belgium, 
we had not passed through it without having heard much 
that was interesting as to its political position ; and I felt 
considerable curiosity to hear the same, subject discussed in 
its capital, and to learn, by entering the Chamber of Repre- 
sentatives, what the tone of debate might be in a country so 
singularly situated. 

The whole of the British nation must, I think, ever feel a 
deep and affectionate interest for the amiable prince who has 
been induced to accept the throne of Belgium. It is impos- 
sible to forget how near he has been to England ; and it 
should be at least equally so, not to remember how perfectly 
free from reproach lias been the tenor of his remarkable 
life. With these feelings of respect and attachment to King 
Leopold, it is impossible not to lament his being placed in 
the situation he now holds. Everything I heard of him 
personally, and I conversed with those who had the best 
means of knowing him well, convinced me that he deserves 
to rule over a people more attached to his dynasty than the 
late subjects of the King of Holland are ever likely to be. 

No one, I believe, could pass a month in Belgium, and 
converse as freely with the people of all parties as I did, 
without becoming aware that the King of Holland still reigns 
in the hearts of the majority ; and that any person, how- 
ever illustrious, who had become the instrument of the fac- 
tious demagogues employed to dismember his kingdom, 
could have little chance of retaining his station were the 
genuine wishes of the Belgians themselves alone consulted. 
That abuses had crept into King William's government — 
that vexatious imposts, hardl}^ worth contending for, had 
been unwisely persisted in — and that some personal jea- 
lousies existed between the Dutch and the Belgians, may be 
very true : but these things were neither sufficient to justify 
revolution, nor to render the result of it permanent. That 
such are now the reflections of many of those who were led 
away by popular tumult, 1 truly believe ; and the number 
of these is more likely to increase than diminish. 

No political revolution can take place without putting 
men's minds into a species of fever, \ery unfit for sane and 
temperate reasoning. The state which follows is often one 
of quiescence and languor j but when this passes off, Ihey 



38 BELGIUM AND 

find perliaps that some useful lessons may have been learnt, 
even daring their delirium. Nevertheless a very natural 
fear of new disturbances may long keep even a powerful 
majority passive. 

if I may believe the representations which reached me 
from many quarters, no country was ever revolutionized by 
a feeling so little general as that which severed Belgium from 
Holland. The deed was done at Brussels ; and many of the 
most efi'ective agents in it were as alien to the country as 
hostile to the King. That some honest men were led to be- 
lieve that they should serve their country by changing its 
government, there can be no doubt : but even these must 
now feel something not unlike remorse, when they see how 
very little of real independence they have obtained for her. 

Without entering into any discussion respecting the new 
institutions acquired by Belgium under the recent constitu- 
tion, or inquiring whether they be or be not politically wiser 
than some which have been discarded, I believe I shall run 
no great risk of being contradicted if I say, that the spirit 
and intelligence of the general mass of the population do in 
no degree harmonize and accord with them. Nothing can 
present a stranger anomaly in human affairs than the sight 
of a nation, deeply and severely Catholic, attempting to ape 
the chartered libertinism of political thinking, which a few 
noisy and discontented persons are endeavouring to teach 
them. The law which authorizes unrestrained license of 
tongue and pen, both public and private, on ail subjects, 
whether political or religious, accords ill with the princi- 
ples of a people whose religion commands them to bring 
their thoughts, words, and deeds before the tribunal of their 
priests. 

With one hand thus unresistingly shackled, and a club or 
a dagger put by law into the other, the Belgian citizen can 
hardly be expected to present himself to the world under an 
aspect either of dignity or usefulness. 

We did not wait long ere we obtained admission to the 
Chamber of Representatives ; and, in consequence of an in- 
troduction from an acquaintance I made at Bruges, we were 
accompanied thither by a very charming person, the wife 
and sister-in-law of two gentlemen highly distinguished as 
among the most influential orators of the lower Chamber. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 39 

It was impossible to make the acquaintance of the MM. 
Rodenbach without feeling sincere admiration for the talents 
of both. This tribute of praise I can hardly hope will be 
acceptable to these distinguished men fVom an obscure indi- 
vidual, whom not even their eloquence could teach to think 
as they do in the science to which they have devoted them- 
selves : nevertheless I offer it in all sincerity, and shall 
certainly not easily forget the amiable reception they accord- 
ed me. M. Alexandre Rodenbach is one of the most inte- 
resting persons I have ever met He is totally blind ; and 
the stillness which this misfortune gives to his outward as- 
pect is so forcibly contrasted with the brilliant vivacity of 
the spirit within, as to make the effect of his animated lan- 
guage almost electric. His work, entitled ^ Coup-d'oeil 
d'uR Avevgle sur les Sourds-muets,' would have been deeply 
interesting from any hand, but from his it is very peculiarly 
so ; and both in this little volume, and in his 'Lettre sur ]es 
Aveugles, faisant Suite a celle de Diderot,' there is a tone of 
such true and amiable philosophy, as to create no common 
degree of kindness towards their author. In short, if we 
can but amicably agree to differ in politics, there are fev»^ 
people with whom I should be more happy to renew ac- 
quaintance than M. Alexandre Robenbach. 

We had some sharp debating in the Chamber, and the 
Belgian Ministry couid hardly have been more vehemently 
assailed, had they been placed in their stations by King 
William himself. 

There is a vivacity of indignation about all M. Dumortier 
utters, that must constantly insure attention. I have often 
observed that the majority of people like to listen to violent 
scolding, provided it be not addressed to themselves; and as 
'M. Dumortier employs all his eloquence in pointing out the 
exceeding wickedness of the Ministers, the rest of the 
Chamber appear to hear him with great satisfaction. 

M. Gendebien is another orator to whom every eye is 
turned when he rises to speak; but I fancied more than 
once that his lively sallies produced a greater inclination to 
smile than to frown in those he attacked. In this, however, 
I presume, I was mistaken, for some of his words were so 
seriously received, that they produced a duel, before we left 
Brussels, between himself and M. Rogier, the Minister of 
the Interior. 



40 BELGIUM AND 

Affairs of this kind are so frequent among the ardent Sj3i- 
rits of this young government, that it has become a daily 
exercise among the gentlemen to fire with pistols at a mark; 
and M. Gendebein is said to have reached such a pitch of 
dexterity, as to be able to bring down a bee upon the wing 
with the nicest certainty. In consideration of such peculiar 
skill, the seconds in this affair placed the combatants at the 
unusual distance of thirty-six pacesj but the opposition 
deputy sustained his reputation, and wounded his official 
enemy in the mouth. 

We were dining with Prince Auguste d'Aremberg,* the 
day after the meeting took pl^ce, and it naturally became 
the topic of conversation at table. *' Gendebien always hits 
where he aims," said the lively Prince; "he wanted to 
stop Rogier's tongue, and he therefore seat a' shot through 
his mouth." 

I believe it is the fashion at Brussels, either after killing 
or wounding an adversary, to retire for a few days, for I 
missed M. Gendebien from the Chamber after this rencon- 
tre ; and upon another occasion of the kind, which unhap- 
pily had a fatal termination, I learnt that going out of town 
for a short time was the only result. I have seldom felt 
more shocked and astonished than 1 did, on learning that a 
young Belgian officer, with whom we dined in company, 
and whose light and amiable gaiety of manner had particu- 
larly struck me, had the day before killed a gentlemen in a 
duel, for some political difference of opinion. I did not 
know this till the morning his unfortunate victim was 
buried, and then I recollected a few words, which had been 
addressed to him at table, evidently alluding to the circum- 
stance. 

" I thought, * * * *, you were going out of town ?" said 
a whiskered militaire, addressing him. 

"Yes; I shall take myself off to-morrow, for a couple of 
days ;" he replied. 

The morrow was the day fixed for the funeral. 

I am persuaded that neither the tumult, the ruin, nor even 

* This amiable nobleman died within tliree months after we left Brus- 
sels. His loss will be deeply felt in the circle in which lie lived, and 
of which, notwithstanding- his great age, he was the ornament and de- 
light. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 41 

the massacre, produced by a political revolution, are its 
worst features. It shakes social order to the very centre — - 
puts all moral feeling out of joint — and makes virtue herself 
turn giddy. There are many honest men who would shud- 
der at their own theories, could they see them stripped of 
the mystifications with which a sort of patriotic slang has 
veiled them. But it is a hard fate for those who are both 
honest and clearsighted too, to witness all the elements of 
social life thrown into confusion — the sturdy materials that 
nature formed to be the base of the pyramid hoisted, in 
defiance of all philosophy, to the top, while the polished 
work that crowned it is thrown to the earth, and trampled 
in the dust. 

Some arrangements after this fashion are the inevitable 
consequence of every great political commotion ; and it 
requires no great depth of scrutiny to discover symptoms of 
the kind. at Brussels. The consequence of this has been the 
breaking up, in a great degree, of the delightful circle of 
society for which it used to be celebrated. Many of the 
noblesse have altogether withdrawn themselves; and few of 
those who remain are as accessible as formerly. We were 
assured by a Russian officer, that all the gaiety now to be 
found at Brussels must be sought in the m.ansions of the 
English ; and that, without this resource, no one, who had 
a choice, would continue to make that city his residence. 
This assurance might possibly have been occasioned by the 
politeness of the speaker towards the party addressed; but, 
as I repeatedly heard the same statement from the Belgians 
themselves, I am inclined to believe it is the fact. 

We had the good fortune, however, to make the acquaint- 
ance of many agreeable people during our short stay ; and 
had not the object of our excursion been to wander much 
farther, I should have well liked to have passed a month 
or two at Brussels. As it was, we could allow ourselves 
but one short fortnight: but we made the most of it, and 
regularly spent our mornings in seeing sights, and our even- 
ings in very agreeable society. We had the pleasure of 
dining with the British Minister, whose elegant hospitality 
and pleasing manners must contribute, in no trifling degree, 
to render a residence at Brussels agreeable. 

The palace of the Prince of Orange is not only the first 

6 



42 BELGIUM AND 

object of admiration in llie capital of Belgium •; but would, I 
presume, be considered in every part of the world as a 
finished model of a splendid palace. It is not large ; but, I 
think, it may be called perfect in magnificence and in taste: 
at least, 1 can imagine nothing superior to the superb ele- 
gance of the furniture and decorations. The date of its com- 
pletion is 1828, when it was immediately inhabited by the 
Prince and Princess. 

It is certainly not easy to conceive a more striking occa- 
sion for meditation on the uncertainty of human affairs, than 
the sight of this gorgeous, yet desolate palace suggests. In 
1828, the princely founder took assured possession of its 
marble halls — and in 1830 they know him no longer! 

Everything within the palace is kept in the most perfect 
order. The visitors, who throng to see it, walk over the 
inlaid floors in list shoes, which are furnished by the guide, 
who watches every individual with jealous attention, lest the 
envelope should slip aside, and vulgar shoe-leather approach 
the he3iui\h\\ parquet. The boudoir of the princess is stated 
to be exactly as she left it; and it has in truth every appear- 
ance of being so. All the exquisite recherche of a royal 
petite maitresse is visible in the whole arrangement. The 
magnificent chiffoniers, the pretty collection of gems, even 
the writing-table of the banished lady, remain as she left 
them. The pens, stained with ink, still hang suspended in 
their golden cradles; and sundry sheets of paper, edged with 
black, show that she was still in mourning for her empress 
mother. Even her gloves, looking as if just drawn ofi' her 
hands, lie on the table. There is something very melan- 
choly in all this. To describe each princely chamber, going 
on crescendo, as they do, in splendour, from the first to the 
last, is quite out of the question. It is useless to say that 
one room is lined with Italian marble; another hung with 
crimson velvet, bordered by fringe of gold; and a third, of 
which the violet satined walls are sprinkled with stars of 
silver; or to tell of the golden candlesticks which would 
make those of Solomon's temple dwindle into littleness. To 
expatiate upon all this, with the best skill I have, would fail 
to convey a just idea of this princely dwelling. I may, per- 
haps, do greater justice to its dazzling magnificence, if I 
confess, that for the first time in my life, in a mansion con- 



WESTERN GERMANY, 43 

taining good pictures, the decorations and furniture made 
me forget them. After the first startling effect was past, 
however, I recovered my senses sufficiently to discover that 
the collection, though small, is a very fine one. 

"C'estfini!" said the guide, on reaching the last room, 
and signifying that we might here leave the list shoes, in 
which we had made the circuit; " C'est fini!" — and though 
this was said, only with the tone of mock dignity, which 
these ambulent catalogues often assume, I could not help 
feeling that, when applied to those tenantless chambers, it 
sounded like a dirge to the House of Nassau in Belgium. 

We visited the little Mint; and were introduced to the 
master of it by Mr.' C. W***"^, a lively and intelligent 
Englishman, well knawn, I believe, in the literary w^orld, 
and a resident of long standing in Brussels. His obliging 
attentions to us were particularly acceptable, as he was quite 
au-fait .of everything best worth being seen and heard. 
This master of the mint seemed born to flourish in a revolu- 
tionary era, and to possess the power of turning his facul- 
ties, certainly of no mean order, into wdiatever channel the 
stormy current of the tim.es might open before him. He 
had been a minister of state, an officer of the army, and 
I know not how many things beside: but now he is assi- 
duously occupied in giving his personal superintendence to 
the making of five-franc pieces and cents. He attended us 
through the whole establishment ; and his manner gave me 
the idea of a man whose ran«;c of talent was far above the 
common. 

The geographical establishment of the MINI. Vandermae= 
len ought to be visited by all foreigners who can procure an 
introduction to them. For this pleasure we were also in- 
debted to Mr. W. I have never seen a finer example of the 
pure, enthusiastic love of science, and of a desire to push it 
into active utility, than in these two brothers. Neither my 
limits nor my learning suffice to do justice to their establish- 
ment by any description I can give of it ; and I must there- 
fore content myself by repeating, that all, who can obtain 
permission to visit them, will do well to avail themselves 
of it. 

Another introduction, which we owed to the active kind- 
ness of the same gentleman, was to M Robyns. 1 should 



44 BELGIUM AND 

imagine that the bump of collectiveness must be very pre- 
ternaturally developed in this gentleman ; and had not his 
ruling passion been rendered "lawful as eating" by a large 
fortune and unbounded liberality, I think he must perforce 
have become a thief, as renowned as Schinderhannes him- 
self; for his mansion and garden render it clearly evident 
that such an acquisitive rabia must have been satisfied in 
some way or other. Mr. W. first expressed a wish that we 
should see his collection of sparrows ; and we were led into 
his garden, (which, for its size, contains also a good collec- 
tion of exotic plants,) and thence to a sort of open arcade at 
one side of it. Here a most singular spectacle met our eyes. 
The walls and ceiling are covered by the carcasses of innu- 
merable little birds, nailed into every imaginable vagary of 
form — stars, crescents, crosses, all packed close together 
with such cautious economy of space, that thousands and 
thousands of little twitterers must have been sacrificed to 
make up the show. 

" By what means. Monsieur," said I, " have you been 
enabled to collect such an astonishing number of little 
birds ?" 

"I rise with the sun every morning of. the year, Ma- 
dame," was the satisfactory reply; '^my first care is to set 
nets the whole length of this gravel walk ; I then place my- 
self in that chair, with the siring of the net in. my hand for a 
certain number of hours, according to the season. The 
result is the collection you see." 

We then entered the house, where we were soon after 
joined by so very agreeable a party of English, tliat I shall 
long remember the acquaintance made in M. Robyns' mu- 
seum v/ith pleasure. The business of exhibition proceeded; 
but were I to rehearse one-hundreth part of the things 
brought in review before us, I should find faith in none, 
from the impossibility that any, who have not seen, should 
believe, how many millions of objects may be crammed into 
a limited space by the force of a strong collective genius. 

"Soyez amant, et vous serez inventif," says La Fontaine. 
Nothing is more true. A passionate love of bringing things 
together has inspired M. Robyns with contrivances to 
lodge his treasures, that almost equal in ingenuity the space- 
saving arrangement of a honeycomb. Were this gentleman's 



WESTERN GERMANY. 45 

collection divided into many, each containing objects illus- 
trative of one branch of science or art, the astonishing accu- 
mulation would be better appreciated. As it is, nothing is 
seen well, from the necessity of looking at something else. 

^< Shall I show you my collection of butterflies, ladies ?" 

And in a moment a hundred drawers were protruded from 
the walls, and a hundred cases were opened in the hollows 
of window-shutters and the interstices of doorways, contain- 
ing the richest and rarest assemblage of jevvelled insects that 
I ever looked upon. 

" Or do you prefer moths ?" 

And before we had half gratified our eyes with the bril- 
liant spectacle contained in every one of the butterfly reposi- 
tories, they were withdrawn, and by some inconceivable con- 
trivance, more drawers and more cases seemed to issue from 
the same places, containing all the moth family, from gaily- 
coloured .monsters as large as a bat, to milk-white midges 
that required a magnifying glass. These too were well 
worth long and patient examination ; but in a moment we 
were withdrawn from them by a demand, whether we liked 
engravings ? 

*' Here is the whole Musee Napoleon ;" and, " here are 
all the caricatures published in Paris for the last thirty 
years." "Here is Piranesi — a particular fine copy ;" and, 

*' here by the by, ladies, I believe 1 have the largest 

collection of music in the world ; if you will just step par 
ici I will show it to you." 

In this way we obtained in the course of a few hours a 
very tantalizing conviction that M. Robyns had a prodigious 
number of things worth seeing, but that it was quite impos- 
sible to find time to look at them. 

. After a morning of much amusement, the whole party ac- 
companied Mr. W. to the restaurant of the justly celebrated 
Du Bos, where he gave us as elegant an entertainment as 
can well be imagined. It was very evident that whatever 
confusion the revolution had produced in other departments, 
that of the cuisine showed no symptom of unseemly inno- 
vation or incogruous combination. Everything was in per- 
fectly good style ; and I have seldom been present at a more 
agreeable entertainment. 

The theatre at Brussels is neither very large nor very 



46 BELGIUM AND 

splendid ; nor was the company of performers so good as I 
had expected to find in a continental capital. It did not ap- 
pear to be the fashionable resort at the period of our visit ; 
for the house was not elegantly filled either of the two eve- 
nings we went there. 

Nothing can be more easy and agreeable than the style of 
the Brussels parties. A few distinguished individuals give 
dinners, from which the gentlemen and ladies rise together; 
and after a cup of exquisite caft noir, taken in the drawing- 
room, they separate to amuse themselves elsewhere. 

Many English families have handsome houses, well calcu- 
lated for receiving company ; and all l3'ing so near together 
round the park and Boulevard de Namur, as to render the 
attending the evening reunions, constantly given in many 
of them, perfectly easy even without a carriage. I had the 
pleasure of being at several of these parties in two or three 
different houses, and found the style of them very like that 
of Paris undressed soirees. Sometimes the young people 
stand up to waltz ; but in general, music, cards, and conver- 
sation occupy the hours. 

I saw a good many gay equestrians, both male and female, 
and looking very Hyde-parkish, enjoying the beautiful gal- 
lop of the Boulevard ; and the park also at the fashionable 
hour of walking was never without some elegant-looking 
group; nevertheless, all agreed in assuring me that Brussels 
was no longer what it had been. 

The old town has many fine Gothic buildings, particularly 
the cathedral church of St. Gudule and the Hotel de Ville. 
The great market-place, in which this last is situated, equals, 
or perhaps surpasses, everything we have seen in Belgium 
for the picturesque effect of its fine old buildings. If I visit 
Brussels again, I think that for one week I will have my 
domicile in the lower town, that the brilliant attractions of 
the upper may not prevent my seeing thoroughly all the 
rich old remnants of Brabant splendour, which are to be 
found in all the ancient parts of the city. 

We spent one long day at Louvain, and saw all that one 
day could show ; which, in a place where objects of interest 
lie so closely together as they do there, was a great deal. 
We passed an hour in the courts and halls of the Univer- 
sity,; went inio many handsome rooms containing its large 



WESTERN GERMANY. 47 

library ; left not a school or lecture room unvisiled ; and 
yet, excepting the old woman who was our guide through 
them, we saw not a human being in the University of Lou- 
vain. 

The whole town appeared to me to look desolate and un- 
tenanted. The cathedral church of St. Peter is magnificent; 
and the pulpit one of the finest specimens extant of the lost 
art of carving in wood. The form of the structure is some- 
what pyramidical, representing at the base the conversion of 
St. Paul, in which the figures, horse included, are as large 
as life; and finished at the top by two elegantly branching 
palm trees, which bend over the canopy of the pulpit. Se- 
veral cherubims are floating about this canopy with a de- 
gree of life and grace quite astonishing in such a material. 
This magnificent work formerly ornamented the archiepis- 
copal church at Mechlin, but was removed to Louvain at the 
time of the revolution. 

The splendid tabernacle, in which the elements of the 
Eucharist are enshrined in the church, is most superbly 
carved in white stone. It is of great height, and covered 
w^ith scriptural groups in very fine alto relievo. 

The celebrated Hotel de Ville of Louvain is so well 
known by drawings, engravings, and descriptions, that all I 
need add is an acknowledgment that its fame is well merited. 
It is by far the richest piece of Gothic work I ever saw. 

Our drive back to Brussels was delightfully cool and re- 
freshing after a fatiguing day ; and, for the first time since 
our arrival in the gay little metropolis, we retired early to 
rest. 

Another day was given to an excursion into the country, 
for the purpose of seeing something of the environs, and 
jbarticularly the pretty villa of Turoneren, belonging to the 
Prince of Orange. This is another splendid specimen of 
the elegant taste of its owner ; but there is sornething too 
melancholy in walking through these silent and forsaken 
halls, and in meditating on the feelings of those who have 
been obliged to leave the chosen palaces " in which they 
made them glad.'^ The gardens are large and handsome, 
but not very picturesque; nor is there any great beauty in 
the surrounding country. The road from Brussels passes 
through an extensive wood ; and the effects of light and 



48 BELGIUM AND 

shade athwart the long avenues form the best feature of the 
drive. 

It was no easy matter to fix the day of departure from 
Brussels. We had old friends to leave there, lon^ valued 
and long lost, who had made it their home ; we had to say 
farewell to many new acquaintance, whose gracious and 
graceful kindness would have made a longer enjoyment of 
it very agreeable : but already one month of our summer 
had slipped away, and, though conscious that the interesting 
old city had not been half explored, we resolutely decided 
upon leaving it. 

Part of our last morning was devoted to taking as general 
a view of the town as the time permitted. The most re- 
markable objects we had before visited, but I had hitherto 
formed no very accurate idea of the whole. No contrast in 
style and effect can be more perfect than that between the 
upper and lower town. The former is airy, gay, brilliant, 
and entirely modern ; the latter close, dark, sombre, and 
venerable : both have charms for the traveller, though of a 
kind widely different. 

It must be confessed, however, that the cheerful aspect of 
the new town is, for the present, greatly injured by the 
traces of revolutionary violence, which are suffered to re- 
main so strangely unobliterated in the very centre of its 
splendour. The residence of Count Crock&nberg, close to 
the royal palace, is a mass of ruins. The park, as the hand- 
some area is called round which the principal buildings are 
erected, is in many places fenced with hurdles; while in 
others the handsome Tuileries-like railings remain. 1 will 
also confess, that, to my taste, the tree of liberty, as the 
symbol of anarchy is called, rearing its lank, uncomely 
height, '-^ like a tall bully," before the windows of the king's 
palace, is by no means a graceful addition to the scene. Its 
branches, however, are withering, and looked very much as 
if the sap had ceased to flow. Perhaps at my next visit I 
may see a kingly statue erected in its place. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 49 



CHAPTER IV. 

Waterloo — St. Jean — Belle Alliance — Monuments — Road to Namur — 

Namur — Huy — Pensionnat — Citadel— Liege— Quentin Durvvard 

Churches — Chaudfontaine — Belgian Politics . 

Notwithstanding the twenty years, or near it, which 
have passed since Waterloo was the spot of earth to which 
all Europe looked with the most lively interest, all my Eng- 
lish feelings were as much awakened at the idea of seeing it, 
as if its glory had arisen but yesterday. Though I am aware 
that the subject is "somewhat musty," and decidedly out of 
fashion, yet I must venture to give a few words to it. A 
mile before we reached the ground, we were addressed on 
each side of the carriage by men who offered to be our 
guides over it : women, too, with baskets on their arms con- 
taining relics of the battle, came crowding round us, offer- 
ing imperial eagles, bullets, and brass buttons for sale. One 
might easily have fancied the event to which they all referred 
had taken place a short month before. We had been cau- 
tioned not to stop at the village, though its name made it 
difficult to obey ; but, in fact, the battle-ground is too far 
from Waterloo to permit its being reached from thence by 
a walk. We therefore persuaded our coachman, though not 
very easily, to take us on to Mont St. Jean, a little hamlet of 
the same parish, nearly a league farther, in which are seve- 
ral detached farms ; and in the fields surrounding these was 
lost and won the most important battle that ever was fought. 
On arriving at this hamlet, we found, contrary to the assu- 
rances of our driver, a very decent little inn, close to all the 
objects we wished to examine, and immediately accepted 
the services of a guide, recommended by our host, to lead 
us among them. We could not have fallen into better hands : 
he was sixteen years old when the engagement took place ; 
and had been an active agent in the scenes which followed 
it. He was employed, as he told us, for many hours of the 
day in carrying water to the wounded ; and towards evening 
had ministered to the wants of the more fortunate ; to 

7 



50 BELGIUM AND 

whom a substantial meal, however rude, was all that was 
wanting to make them the most contented as well as the 
most triumphant of mortals. 

The weather was intensely hot ; and the plain we had to 
walk over utterly without shade ; but this good fellow con- 
trived to beguile the vvay wonderfully well. I know not 
whether he had tact enough to teach him that such anec- 
dotes would be particularly agreeable; but he gave us more 
than one beautiful story of British tenderness, generosity, 
and fortitude. If, however, our Belgian friend intends to 
be equally agreeable to all the English travellers who may 
still pause on their way to look at Waterloo, he must study 
a page of their politics, which it was evident had not yet 
been opened to him. 

'* Votre Due de Wellington etait la," said he, pointing to 
a spot near us ; "je I'ai vu, moi, entoure de ses generaux. 
Mon Dieu ! Quel homme ! J'etais tout pres de lui ici — 
justement ici — et lui, il etait la. Quel homme ! et comme 
tous ses officiers le regardaient. N'est-ce-pas qu'il est adore 
en Algleterre ?" 

My cheeks tingled as I remembered the windows of Aps- 
ley House ; and I would not have been obliged to tell that 
poor fellow in his rusty bloiize what he would see if he came 
to gaze on the dwelling of the hero of Waterloo, for more 
than I will say. 

'* Oui, mon ami, oui," was my reply ; and if I spoke not 
truth, the sin will rest on other heads than mine. 

In the course of our progress, we were led to the monu- 
ment raised to the Hanoverians who fell ; and to that erected 
to the memory of Sir Alexander Gordon. But the most 
striking object on the field of Waterioo is the stupendous 
mound piled by the King of Holland over the spot where 
his son the Prince of Orange was wounded. It is a pyramid 
of 250 feet high, and employed 200 men constantly for three 
years. 

Considering the sad numbers who breathed their souls out 
on the same battle-ground, to whom not even a grassy hillock 
rises, marking the spot where they fell, this colossal memo- 
rial of the royal soldier's wound seemed somewhat too pre- 
dominant. It struck me, moreover, that if living bravery 
be thus permitted to witness its own renown, it would not be 



WESTERN GERMANY. Sl 

amiss to ask permission of King Leopold for the erection of 
a statue to the Duke of Welh'no-ton. As the thought occur- 
red, I fixed upon the spot where I woukl have it rise; it 
was the bit of elevated ground on which he stood when his 
genius directed the bold and decisive movements which 
made the conqueror of the world stand aghast. A massive 
bronze statue on this spot would show" well against the sky ; 
and, as my fancy conjured it up before me, methought it 
was classically draped, after the manner of John Kemble, 
with an attitude and air which recalled the idea of Coriola- 
nus. 

We mounted to the- top of the pyramid by steps so rudely 
cut as to render the enterprise one of some difficulty ; but 
were rewarded by overlooking the field of battle in a man- 
ner to give a much more comprehensive idea of its arrange- 
ment than could be obtained below. Our guide was a very 
intelligent chronicler, and pointed out with great animation 
the points where the tug of war had been the strongest. 

The bronze lion on its summit, which was fabricated at 
Liege, is a magnificent monster, measuring twenty feet from 
head to tail, and looked, as our guide remarked, proudly 
enough towards France. 

After descending from this artificial mountain, which 
was very nearly as difficult as climbing up it, we traversed 
the plain in all directions ; and, spite of the burning mid- 
day sun, left no spot unvisited to which any record of pecu- 
liar interest was attached. 

Not all that has been said and written on the subject — 
not all the years that have passed since that great day arose — 
could lessen the interest we felt at finding ourselves stand- 
ing on the ground whose fame had been so long familiar to 
us. 

Who could be told, without feeling some swelling at the 
heart, "There, where you now stand, stood your Welling- 
ton — here were his officers all round him — yonder was the 
farthest point to which Napoleon advanced — and it was there 
he uttered his last command, * iSVzwve qui peut !^ ^^ 

The ruins of the Chateau of Hougoumont is, I think, 
the most interesting point of all. The struggle was there 
perhaps the fiercest ; the battered walls, the dismantled and 
fire-stained chapel, which remained standing through all 



52 BELGIUM AND 

the wreck, and where they show a crucifix, that, as they say, 
repeatedly caught fire, but never was consumed, — the traces 
of attack upon attack, still renewed and still resisted — all, 
together, bring the whole scene before one with tremendous 
force. In the garden of Hougoumont is one solitary tomb 
raised over the body of Captain Blachnon. He was buried 
exactly where he fell — 

" With his martial cloak around him." 

and his monument is the only one so erected. 

At length, sufficiently heated and weary to make the sight 
of the little inn extremly welcome, we reached La Belle 
Mliance^ over the door of which it is recorded that within 
its humble walls Wellington and Blueher met, and reposed, 
on the evening of the ever memorable 18th June, 1815. 

As I sat down in the little whitewashed parlour where the 
first triumphant, yet melancholy hour that succeeded the 
battle was passed by the victorious Generals, I fancied I saw 
them surrounded by their staJBT, waiting with trembling 
eagerness to learn who among their brave companions still 
lived to share their triumph. It was in this room that they 
heard the names of all the brave spirits who had paid their 
lives for the mighty prize their country had won ; and it 
was here that the first and most precious tribute of gratitude 
and of sorrow embalmed the memory of the slain. 

We returned to our little inn about three o'clock ; and 
gladly welcomed the shade of its humble parlour. Our 
walk had altogether been so long and fatiguing, and the 
heat continued to be so overpowering, that I reposed for 
some hours before I ventured out again : but towards eve- 
ning large masses of heavy summer clouds rolled together; 
and though the air was stifling, there was at least no longer 
sunshine to dread : once more, therefore, I walked out upon 
the field ; my companions had wandered farther, and I was 
quite alone. Having passed the morning in listening to the 
brave but bloody deeds it had witnessed, I almost trembled 
to find myself alone there. The spot was an awful one, and 
no great stretch of imagination seemed necessary to people 
it ; moreover, the heavy gloom of an approaching storm 
hung upon every object, and a poet might easily have fan- 



WESTERN GERMANY. 53 

cied that the air was darkened by the waving banners of a 
spectre host careering over it. The day ended by the only 
violent thunder storm we encountered during the whole 
summer. 

The next morning, being fortunate enough to find vacant 
places in a public carriage going from Namur to Brussels, we 
availed ourselves of it to return to the village of Waterloo. 
It was Sunday, and we heard mass performed in the little 
church, whose walls are lined with the memorials erected 
in honour of the brave men who perished near it. After 
mass we walked with a guide about the village, and visited 
many spots made memorable by having some connexion 
or other with the battle. 

The object, whose display was preluded with the most 
ceremony, was a sort of mausoleum, bearing the following 
inscription : — 

" Ci est enteiTee la jambe 

De rillustre et vaillant Comte Uxbridge, 

Lieutenant- General de S. M. Britannique, 

Commandant en chef la cavalerie 

Anglaise, Belg-e, et Hollandaise, 

Blesse le 18 Juin, 1815, 

A la memorable bataille de Waterloo, 

Qui, par son herolsme, a concouru au triomphe 

De la cause du genre humain, 

Glorieusement decidee par I'eclatante 

yictoire 

Duditjour." 

On each side of this inscription was a tablet bearing ano- 
ther : that to the right ran thus — 

"Get endrolt fut visite le l^r Qctobre, 1821, 
Par George IV. roi de la Grande Bretagne ;" 

that on the left, 

" Get endroit fut visite le 20 Septembre, 1825, 

Par S. M. le roi de Prusse, accompagnc de 

Trois princes, ses fils." 

No one, I think, can help feeling that this singular shrine 
is not that on which the names of the royal pilgrims could 
with the most propriety have been engraved : yet it is the 
only one at Waterloo which bears records of their visits. 



54 BELGIUM AND 

There is something disagreeably approaching to the bathos, 
in passing from the graves of buried heroes to the repository 
of a severed limb. Had this brave and noble soldier left 
no other memorial of his presence at Waterloo than his leg, 
this strange devotion to it would be less annoying. Who- 
ever they were who testified the fervour of their admiration 
by raising this singular mausoleum, they would have done 
better, had they trusted, for the recollection of the event, to 
the fame of the noble and well-remembered firmness with 
which Lord Anglesey bore his loss : but as the leg itself 
was most assuredly the member to which the brave noble- 
man was the least likely to be indebted on the field of bat- 
tle, some portion of the circumstance and ceremony respect- 
ing it might have been well spared. 

We dined at PHotel du Roi d'Angleterre, and then took 
the coupe, which we had previously engaged, in the diii- 
g;ence for Namur. We passed by Quatre-bras, where 
Blucher was defeated on the 17th — the day before the de- 
cisive battle ; and also by the w^ell-known village of Ge- 
nappe. About two leagues before reaching Namur, our 
eyes were refreshed by the first picturesque landscape we 
had looked upon since we entered Belgium. 

A little bright, meandering stream, a beetling rock of 
mountain limestone hanging over it, with a most Udolpho- 
like-looking castle in the woods beyond, formed a perfect 
treat for three picturesque-seeking travellers, who, for the 
last month, had seen nothing but the level plains of Flanders, 
xlntwerp, and Brabant. 

All the large farm-houses in this neighbourhood have been 
evidently constructed with a view to defence. They almost 
always enclose a square : the outsides of the barns, which 
form the walls of it, are very substantially built of stone, 
having loop-holes at regular distances round the whole ex- 
tent : the gates are high, and frequently embattled with a 
huge portal, calculated to resist everything except artillery. 

The approach to Namur is magnificent. The town lies 
in a basin at the juncture of the Sambre and the Meuse. At 
the angle formed by this ^' meeting of the waters'' is the 
bold, abrupt termination of the long range of hills running 
between them ; and on the summit of this lofty eminence 



WESTERN GERMANY. 55 

sLinds the citadel, vvith its superb works, stretching over the 
whole face of the mountain. 

The cathedral church of St. Aubaine, and also St. Loup, 
are well seen in approaching the city :' but the hills which 
rise so nobly in all directions round it, prevent any building 
but the dominating citadel from producing great effect. A 
nearer examination does not, however, greatly increase the 
idea of their architectural beauty : neither is the town well 
built; nor are the streets either very clean or very fragrant. 
We had recently seen too many splendid churches for those 
of Namur to inspire much admiration : that of St. Loup is 
the best worth seeing, for the sake of its very singular and 
beautifully carved roof of stone. 

Namur had, however, attractions for my son, which, un- 
happily, my ignorance prevented my sharing. In his opinion, 
the collection of M. Cauchy, to whom M. Vandermaelen 
had given him a letter, is one of the most perfect, in the 
objects it has been his purpose to collect, that can any where 
be seen. It contains a complete collection of specimens 
illustrative of the geology of Belgium, I here heard most 
honourable mention of the savoir of a fair countrywoman ; 
several fossil shells in the collection having beeii determined, 

M. Cauchy said, by Mrs. M n. As I have the pleasure 

of knowing, from my own observation, that this accom- 
plished lady '' wears her faculties so meekly" as in no de- 
gree to let them interfei'e with her kindness to the less 
informed of her own sex, I listened with the more pleasure to 
the admiration expressed for her unusual scientific informa- 
tion ; and heartily lamented that, in my own case, "^know- 
ledge, by this entrance," was so completely shut out. 

After passing a day at Namur, we embarked on board a 
little dirty packet-boat, which navigates the Mouse from 
thence to Huy. We had been particularly desired nor. to 
omit this pretty voyage ; and in truth we found that it de- 
served all the praise bestowed on it : but it is only the more 
to be regretted that the total want of everything like decent 
accommodation on board the boats should be such as com- 
pletely to turn pleasure into pain. 

Whoever travels this route, with a leisure day or two to 
spare, will do well to spend them at Huy. The MeUvSe is 
here at its handsomest width, and has a little rapid below 



56 BELGIUM AND 

the bridge, occasioning a lively movement of its waters, 
which here at least deserve not the epithet of *' sluggish.'' 
The hills, which rise on either side, are bold and picturesque; 
and on one of these the citadel of Huy rears its massive 
front, sometimes crowning the rock, and sometimes permit- 
ting naked crags to rise amidst the masonry, and become a 
part of its strength. Below the citadel, and stretching its 
noble length eastward, stands the cathedral; somewhat in- 
jured by repeated innovations, but lofty, venerable, and 
imposing : below this is the beautiful grey stone bridge, with 
its seven graceful arches : and turn the eye in what direction 
you will, some tower, some convent, or some old, grotesque 
Burgundian mansion greets you, all in those mellowed tints 
of red and grey, so dear to Prout. One cause of this pecu- 
liarly picturesque aspect is, that the little town of Huy, con- 
taining only five thousand inhabitants, boasts sixteen churches 
and monasteries. The guide-boiks say that no town in the 
world of the same dimensions has so many edifices of the 
kind, or so many priests residing in it. 1 inquired of an 
inhabitant, with whom we made acquaintance, if this was so. 
" Ma foi, oui," was the reply; '<il n'y a pas a redire a cela, 
et le bon Dieu en prends soin ; car, si tout le monde manque 
de quoi vivre, les pretres ne manquent de rien.'' 

The walks on both sides of the Maese were so beautiful, 
and we heard such interesting stories of monasteries, still 
containing venerable remnants of their once numerous sister- 
hoods, that we decided upon passing another day, for the 
purpose of exploring the country, and, if possible, of enter- 
ing one of these holy sanctuaries. 

Having mounted a hill on the western side of the river, 
we perceived a building, which, from its Gothic chapel, lofty 
walls, and air of deep seclusion, we felt assured must be a 
nunnery. We eagerly approached it; and, on ringing the 
fijreat bell at the outer gate, a female in black answered it. 
She did not look exactly like a nun, but still she might be a 
lay sister. Her linen was religiously white, and her hair 
invisible : so, nothing doubting, we requested permission, as 
strangers, to see the house. The supposed nun answered 
very civilly, " Entrez, s'il vous plait; je vais voir." We 
advanced, and found ourselves in a venerable cloister, the 
centre of which was converted into a pretty flower-garden. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 57 

Here we remained for a few minutes, congratulating each 
other upon having found our way into such sacred precincts. 
Presently the same female returned, and invited us to follow 
her, which we did, through several long passages, vaulted 
and echoing to our heart's desire; at length we were ushered 
into a parlour, but, alas! it was without a grille ; and we 
were received by a lady, whom all our predetermination to 
find ourselves in a convent could not enable us to mistake for 
a nun. She welcomed us, however, with the greatest civility ; 
declared she should have much pleasure in showing us the 
establishment ; and displayed some beautiful embroidery 
and several drawings, far from contemptible. I felt rather 
ashamed of our intrusion ; and having given a just tribute of 
praise to the elegant labours of her scholars, attempted to how 
a retreat ; but she so earnestly requested me to permit her 
to show us the house, that it was impossible to refuse ; and 
accordingly we all followed her through the various parts of 
the building; which had, in truth, a few years before, been 
a large and handsome convent. On her opening the door of 
a long dormitory, filled with double rows of little white 
beds, I stopped but a moment to admire their neatness, and 
retreated to the gallery, very truly ashamed of giving her 
so much unnecessary trouble; but she took me by the arm, 
and led me again into the room, saying, "^Permettez moi, 
madame; messieurs, entrez s'il vous plait — il faut voir tout;" 
and I almost suspected that, notwithstanding her great 
civility, she meant to make us perform a little penance for 
our impertinent curiosity. But I did her great injustice, for 
she led us on through the long chamber with a far different 
purpose, and opening a pair of folding doors at the end of it, 
said, in a voice that seemed to challenge both admiration 
and reverence, "Voila notre eglise !" She crossed herself 
as she spoke, and then stood aside, as if to watch the effect 
of the scene upon us. 

The coup-d^ceil was really very striking. The large gal- 
lery in which we stood looked into a handsome chapel of 
great antiquity : the altar, which faced us, was showily de- 
corated and embellished, as well as many little shrines along 
the walls, with a profusion of newdy-gathered flower-S. The 
whole floor seemed paved with the grave-stones of the de- 
ceased sisters, varied at intervals by one of superior orna- 

8 



58 BELGIUM AND 

ment and dignity, indicating the resting-place of an abbess. 
I thought, as I looked at these memorials, that if any of the 
little ladies, who slept in the room which opened upon them, 
were subject to superstitious fears, they might sometimes 
feel uncomfortable from the gloomy proximity : but, except- 
ing this visionary objection, the Pensionnat, into which we 
had so unceremoniously intruded ourselves, seemed a very 
desirable place of education ; possessing, over and above all 
others, the very remarkable advantage of including all 
charges in the sum of four hundred francs; and as the 
^^ carte de renseignements^^ expressed it, "-pas d^ autre 
depense sous quelque denomination que ce puisse etre.^' 

After this pilgrimage we returned to the town, and ob- 
tained permission to visit the citadel. This is still a virgin 
fortress, and was built by the King of Holland, under the 
direction, as we are told, of an English engineer. All the 
public works of this monarch seem boldly conceived and 
magnificently executed. A thousand workmen were em- 
ployed for eight years in completing the citadel of Huy. 
I have had but few opportunities of comparing such kind of 
buildings with each other, but this is by far the most stupen- 
dous piece of masonry I ever saw. The living rock, indeed, 
has been made to obey the bold design of the engineer; and 
it is by excavation, almost as much as by building, that this 
fortress has obtained its reputation of alniost unequalled 
strength. 

Over one of the massive gateways is the following 
motto : — 

Etiamsi fractus illabitur orbis 
Impavidum ferient ruinae. 

The country between Huy and Liege, though beautiful to 
eyes that had not yet forgotten the plains of Flanders, was 
much less so than between Huy and Namur. I know no 
city the entrance to which is less inviting than that of Liege; 
every object seems more or less stained by the hue of coal. 
My son, indeed, looked from the windows of the carriage, 
and exclaimed, in a tone of singular satisfaction, '^ Here we 
are again on the coal measures!" but to me, this only seem- 
ed to confirm the idea that we were in danger of suffocation 
from coal dust. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 59 

We passed some handsome houses, with gardens well laid 
out; but the walks were neatly-rolled small coal. Our posti- 
lion cracked his whip as we entered the city, and tlie accele- 
rated crunching of coals beneath our wheels responded to it: 
and, in short, not all my anticipations of pleasure from be- 
coming acquainted with a place so famed in story could pre- 
vent me, as I drove into the town, from earnestly longing to 
drive out of it again. 

The next morning, however, my imagination being, I 
suppose, refreshed with sleep, I forgot all present annoy- 
ances while tracing the memorials of the olden times. How 
much of this might be attributable to the interest we all own 
in the generations which have played their part and passed 
away, and how much to feelings connected with a particular 
individual, named Quentin Durward, I vvill not pretend to 
define: but it is certain that there was hardly any part of the 
city into, which visions connected with him did not follow 
me; and I not only made out, to my entire satisfaction, the 
very spot where Gertrude Pavilion led the Scottish Archer 
through her father's garden to the boat that waited for him 
on the Maese ; but I am quite sure, too, that I know exactly 
the point at which Quentin left the town to return to the 
castle of Schonwaldt; and that I should not be far out did I 
undertake to designate the exact place where he proved him- 
self rather an angel than a man, by leaving the half-won 
conquest of the Boar to rescue the friendl}^ Trudchen. 

By the way I was rather amused, while turning over the 
pages of a modern history of Liege in a bookseller's shop, to 
find the following passage: — " C'est ici le lieu de faire un 
tableau de Petat de la France au quinzieme siecle, et de tra- 
cer le caractere de Louis XI. J'emprunterai a Sir Walter 
-Scott presque tons les details que j'ai a donner la dessus." 

The process of converting history into romance is a de- 
lightful operation, by which we have all profited; but the 
value of that by which romance is recreated into history is 
still to be learned. 

The cathedral church, now called St. Paul's, but origi- 
nally dedicated to St. Lambert, has some very fine painted 
glass, and the ceiling is curious from the unusual style of its 
coloured decorations. 

This recalled the manner in which the ceiling of the 



60 BELGIUM AND 

transepts of Winchester Cathedral has been repaired, and 
which I remember to have heard censured as incongruous in 
style ; but its exact conformity with this fine old cimrch is 
a satisfactory proof of their propriety, and of the savoir of 
the learned antiquary who adopted it. 

The church of St. Martin stands very finely on the side 
of a hill that leads towards the citadel. The interior of this 
church is extremely gaudy as to its ornaments; and adorned 
besides with a profusion of orange-trees, oleanders, and myr- 
tles. One part of its decoration consisted in a large display 
of framed placards (some of them ornamented with painted 
wreaths of flowers and other pretty devices), recording a 
multitude of recent miracles, each of them headed, in large 
letters, '^Miracle approuve.^^ On one was inscribed "Ma- 
rie Cornelis, ayant Fceil pique et traverse d'une epine, en 
recouvre la vue." 

We entered this church while five priests were engaged 
in performing mass before a moveable figure of the Virgin, 
more profusely tricked out in tawdry finery than any figure 
1 have seen. 

From thence we climbed Mount Walburgis, and approach- 
ed, as nearly as we were permitted, to the citadel on the top 
of it. The paved street which leads up to the side of this 
height to the fortress, is the steepest elevation I ever saw so 
used ; but, the view from the summit well repays the labour 
of ascending. 

The Palais de Justice, formerly the Palais Episcopal, is 
large and handsome. The Maison de Ville, in the market- 
place, and the three fountains near it, also deserve to be 
looked at; but the dismally dirty, dusty atmosphere made it 
really a task either to drive or walk about the city; and it 
was with all the enjoyment that the hope of breathing freely 
could give, that we mounted a char-a-banc for the purpose 
of passing a few hours at Chaudfontaine. 

I suspect that this most singularly lovely spot is less 
known to English travellers than it ought to be ; for I have 
rarely heard it mentioned except by foreigners : but the lit- 
tle valley, in which the baths that have given the place its 
name are situated, is alone infinitely better worth taking a 
journey to see than many objects which yearly draw crowds 
of tourists from our shores. The baths, of which there are 



WESTERN GERMANY. 61 

enough to show that they are greatly frequented by the 
neighbourhood, are in the hands of government; and every- 
thing about them is in the highest degree comfortable, or 
rather luxurious. I certainly never enjoyed a bath so much. 
The exquisite clearness of the water, the noble size of the 
marble chamber into which you descend to enjoy it, and its 
delightful natural temperature (twenty-six degrees of Reau- 
mur), all contribute to make Chaudfontaine the very perfec- 
tion of a bathing-place. I will not attempt any description 
of the wooded hills which rise on either side of this fairy 
valley; nor of the bright stream that ripples through them: 
I will only say, — pass it not unseen. The distance from 
Liege is not above seven miles. 

The return to our hotel after such an excursion was really 
terrible, and most gladly did we bid adieu on the following 
morning to the coal-stained city. 

Aix-la-Chapelle was to be our next resting-place, and the 
Prussian frontier was to be passed about half vvay to it. 

Before leaving Belgium, I must say a few farewell words 
respecting it. Not many among us are, I believe, fully 
aware how peculiarly rich this country is in objects of every 
kind that can most interest and delight a traveller; provided, 
indeed, that he be not journeying post to the Rhine, but 
have time and inclination to pause and look about him. 
People who love pictures, know that Flanders possesses 
many chef-d^ CEUvres of the art; and people who love 
churches are aware that the Low Countries are famed for 
Gothic architecture: nevertheless, but few of our yearly 
tourists pause long enough to enjoy fully the exceeding 
richness of Belgium in all that can gratify the eye of taste, 
or ^'av/aken the enthusiasm of the antiquary.'^ Where can 
' be found such a constellation of fine old cities as Bruges, 
Ghent, Antwerp, Louvain, Brussels, Namur, and Liege? 
each assisting to illustrate the history of the others, and all 
within so small a space, that they may be visited in succes- 
sion, and revisited again half-a-dozen times in the course of 
as many weeks; and that, perhaps, at a less expense than if 
the same time were spent at a fashionable watering-place in 
England. 

Of genuine Flemish manners it is not easy to form any 
accurate judgment by merely passing a few weeks in the 



62 BELGIUM AND 

country, and going only into the society that good travelling 
introductions lead to; for therein will be found the same 
uniform love of European good-breeding v>^hich distinguishes 
the well-educated from those who are not so, in every coun- 
try ; but which has too little characteristic variety to be con- 
sidered as purely national in any. I took some pains, and 
not quite without success, to look a little more behind the 
scenes, and whenever I did so, the conformity in habits and 
character of the present race, with the portraits made fami- 
liar to us in the history of ages past, was most striking. 

It should seem that even the soil and air had an influence 
on the tailors, stocking-weavers, and shoe-makers ; for there 
are still the self-same outlines, nay, the self-same colours, and, 
as it should seem, the identical materials with which they 
wrought. Nor are the healthy, comely, lusty weavers more 
changed. No people, I think, bear a stronger national im- 
press on their features than the peasants of Flanders; and 
their admirable painters have made us all sufficiently fami- 
liar with them. 

Of their manners I saw enough to show me that they 
were industrious, clean, cheerful, and kind-hearted; and if 
beer and tobacco-smoke constitute a larger portion of their 
happiness than might be wished, it should be remembered 
that it is better to smoke than chew the loathsome herb; and 
that barley may be taken in a more pernicious form than 
that of Flemish ale. 

Of the ranks immediately above these it is less easy to 
judge : but perhaps if I abstain from naming the city where 
it was made, I may venture to insert the translation of a pro- 
vincial sketch given me by a lively young French woman, 
who had resided some years there. Of its accuracy I am 
hardly competent to give an opinion, though there are some 
features which saute aux yeux^ of which I confess the 
resemblance is striking. 



WESTERN GERMANY, 63 

Journal of a Belgium Lady, 

(not of the capital.) 

She rises generally about seven o'clockj provided the chil- 
dren, who all sleep in her room, have permitted her to re- 
pose till so late an hour. Her toilet does not take long ; a 
black petticoat being the only addition she makes to the cap 
and brown cotton wrapping-gown in which she sleeps. In 
this equipage, with one child in her arms, and half a dozen 
following her, she goes down to breakfast ; which repast is 
often taken in the kitchen and lasts but a few moments, 
amidst cries and quarrelings for slices of bread and butter, 
and mugs of coffee. 

This trouble over, the lady commences the toilet of her 
little family ; an operation which she always performs care- 
fully and neatly, and the children are despatched to school. 

A general review of the mansion follows ; and wo to 
the servants if any candle ends of the preceding night have 
been burned too low — if a single grain of dust be visible on 
the furniture, or a cup broken ; for crimes of this cast ever 
become the subjects of most vehement reproach. 

At length the bell rings for mass ; a morning dress, not 
peculiar for its elegance, succeeds to the first costume ; a 
black cloak and hood is thrown over it ; and, with a basket 
on her arm, she repairs to the church, and from thence to 
make bargains and execute commissions. 

This period, the happiest of her day, is prolonged till 
dinner. In the course of her peregrination she meets her 
-acquaintance, and the most innocent little gossipings take 
place. It is now that she learns how much Mrs. Such-an- 
one gave beyond what she ought for a turbot ; and, conse- 
quently, how very bad a manager she must be : while on the 
other hand, Mrs. Somebody is so stingy that she stands half 
an hour higgling about green peas ; — Mrs. A. has given her 
maid warning ; Mrs. B. has a sick baby ; and the Cure has 
made a visit at least half an hour long to Miss C. . 

And now the clock strikes twelve, and dinner leads everv 



64 BELGIUM AND 

body home. The children are returned from school ; the 
tumult and the din begins again ; and the young ones con- 
trive to render the dinner as miserable as the breakfast. 
This dinner, however, is eaten in a handsome room, orna- 
mented with mirrors, carpets, and so forth, but none of the 
thousand and one little prettinesses which constitute elegance 
and comfort. Everything is handsome and correct ; and 
everything is heavy and gloomy. Its tenants know the 
wants of animal life, but little more : the dinner is good and 
abundant, but the conversation — nought. 

The meal ended and the dessert distributed among the 
children, peace is once more restored by their dismissal to 
school. 

The lady then places herself at her window with her 
work, which she continues without interruption till she goes 
to vespers ; after which she gives her children their supper 
and puts them to bed ; then undresses herself, puts her hair 
into papillotes, says her prayers, and, while waiting the re- 
turn of her spouse, amuses herself by chatting a little v/ith 
her servants in the kitchen. A well-behaved husband is 
never later than nine ; as soon as he appears, a substantial 
supper is served, and at ten the whole house is in a state of 
profound repose. 

This life, with very few exceptions, is that of all the ladies 
of ^. 

If their minds do not greatly improve by it, their plump- 
ness and fresh complexions prove at least that it agrees well 
with their constitutions. What can they wish for more ? Of 
what use wouW mind be to them ? A Fleming marries in 
order to have a housekeeper who will not cheat him — his 
dinner punctually served — his children kept clean — and his 
stockings mended. He asks for nothing more, and is per- 
fectly contented with this. They are happy. What more 
can be desired ? — nothing ; — excepting, perhaps, the not 
being obliged to witness a happiness so insupportable. 



The scenery of the Sambre and the Meuse is as beautiful 
as the most devoted lover of landscape can desire : there 



WESTERN GERMANY. 65 

are points near Liege that may challenge comparison with 
any scenery of the same class in the world ; and I think 
that I have not yet seen the valley which could be preferred 
to that of Chaudfontaine. 

In addition to all this, the glorious fertility of the agricul- 
tural districts well deserv^es to be mentioned. Were there 
nothing else to reward a traveller for going thither, I think 
the sight of the rich fields of Flanders would be enough to 
do it. It is surely a fair object of curiosity to see what may 
be the largest quantity of grain that can stand in any given 
space ; and this, I think, may be satisfactorily decided in 
Belgium. 

England has noble fields of grain, and her herbage is rich 
and abundant ; but in Flanders the soil is crammed with 
produce, and the corn stands on the ground like a solid 
mass. 

In short, Belgium is a beautiful little kingdom ; and, not- 
withstanding the extent of territory be small, it has sufficient 
within its circuit to give its name a higher rank among 
the nations of the Continent than its extent of domain alone 
could justify. 

Were the spirit of her present legislators as congenial to 
the natural temper of her citizens as the air and soil to the 
various treasures of her fields, it might be fairly hoped that 
peace as well as plenty would long smile upon them: but 
there appears to be a restless craving for still further changes 
among some who have much influence, which promises any- 
thing rather than permanent tranquillity. 

There are stirring spirits in Belgium who would vvillingly 
work political innovation, not only by the modern process 
of overturning all constituted authority, but by reviving 
power which has long lain dormant there, and which, in 
most other countries, may be considered as extinguished 
for ever. There are more Flemish cities than one in 
which the destruction, or rather the dispersion, of the Je- 
suits is openly deplored : and, if I am rightly informed, 
many efforts are making to organize new orders among the 
priesthood, that may increase their power and influence. 
I heard it repeatedly asserted in society, that had King 
William been a Catholic, or a less bigoted Protestant, (such 
is the language used,) Belgium and Holland could never 

9 



66 BELGIUM AND 

have been severed. But even those who profess the most 
perfect satisfaction at the result of the revolution, do not, in 
general, speak of the present order of things in a tone that 
promises its long continuance. " Ca ira pour le moment" 
was a phrase I heard repeated with slight variations in many 
circles. Nevertheless, . were King Leopold to become a 
Catholic and France rest contented without any fresh " im- 
mortal three days," the ''moment^' may probably be greatly 
lengthened. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 67 



CHAPTER V. 

Aix-la-Chapelle — Charlemagne — ^Napoleon — Relics — King- of Prussia — 

German Politics. 

Perhaps it requires rather a particular attachment to the 
memory of Charlemagne to feel all the satisfaction that I did 
in going over the city of Aix-la-Chapelle, and seeking out, 
with a guide-book in my hand, every trace, whether real 
or fanciful, that this prince of Paladins has left there. 

No one can deny that there are enough of both to satisfy 
the most devoted lover of romance : and if the head be but 
sufficiently crammed with legends of knights and saints, one 
may almost have the luxury of fancying for a few hours that 
one is living in the midst of them. I never felt myself in 
such palpable contact with the ages that are gone as while 
thus engaged : and though I am afraid that nothing can be 
less like the profound investigations of the cautious antiquary, 
than the poetical reminiscences indulged in during this time; 
I much doubt if, in the way of enjoyment, any degree of 
sober learning would answer so well as that sort of feminine 
savoir obtained through the medium of romance, and which 
enabled me to see not only all that was to be seen, but, spite 
of the dictum in the Critic, a great deal more. Without 
this delightful sort of second-sight, I might have doubted 
the truth of many interesting particulars, the belief in which 
exceedingly enhanced my gratification; and I therefore re- 
commend an assiduous perusal, both of Berni and Ariosto, 
to all travellers about to visit this venerable city. 

There must be, however, something sufficiently stirring, 
even to the sober feelings of the antiquary and historian, 
while standing under the dome of the magnificent cathedral 
at Aix-la-Chapelle, and hearing, '^ This is the chapel built 
by Charlemagne, and under that stone he was buried." 

I wished to believe that he lay there still, but this was 
impossible; for the singular history of his disinterment is 
one of the most prominent legends of the spot. He had 



68 BELGIUM AND 

been buried three hundred years, when the Emperor Fre- 
derick Barbarossa took him from the tomb. This strange 
sacrilege is spoken of in the history of Aix as "-unefete tou- 
chante,^^ given by Frederick to the town in 1165, when the 
embalmed hero was raised from the grave by the Archbishop 
of Cologne and the Bishop of Liege, and exposed " a la ve- 
neratio7i publique. '^ 

He was found buried in royal robes, and seated in a chair 
of marble, with the Gospels on his knees, his sword beside 
him, and a small casket, containing a portion of the earth 
which received the blood of the martyred St. Stephen .it his 
feet. After this " touchante Jete^^ the body of Charle- 
magne was deposited in a very elegant antique sarcophagus 
of alabaster, on which the Rape of Proserpine is chiseled in 
fine relief. 

This beautiful coffin is still shown, but no vestige of the 
illustrious dead remains within it. It is supposed that bone 
after bone has been taken away, being considered as holy 
relics; and it is stated that one solitary fragment, saved from 
this traffic, has been re-interred in the vault from whence 
his body was removed. 

The vast stone that seals this vault, and which is placed^ 
immediately under the centre of the dome, has the words' 
Carolo Magno inscribed upon it. The sacristan, who 
went over the church with us, told me that he had accompa- 
nied Napoleon and Josephine into every part of the building: 
they were followed, he said, by a numerous cortege of the 
staff. When Napoleon read these v^'ords, he retreated from the 
verge of the stone, rendered sacred by such a^ inscription, 
and having remained for a moment to gaze upon it, walked 
slowly round without placing his foot within its limits, but 
with his eyes still fixed on the venerated name. 

"II y avait quelque-chose de bien fiappant dans son re- 
gard," said the man; " mais aussi quelque-chose de bien drole 
dans Pinsouciance avec laquelle ses officiers suivaientsespas, 
en evitant de toucher la pierre; mais pourtant, sans avoir 
Pair de partager du tout son sentiment." 

The marble chair in which the body of Charlemagne was 
found, as well as the royal symbols that were buried with 
him, have been since used at the coronation of eleven em- 
perors. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 69 

A vast gallery runs round the octagon of Charlemagne's 
chapel, from whence branch off sundry large oriels, forming 
what is called the Hoch Munster, or upper church. In that 
division of the octagon gallery, which, fronts the high altar 
below, is placed this sepulchral chair ; and it is here that the 
emperors have been seated to receive the sacre, while the 
electors stood round the gallery, between porphyry pillars, 
which supported its roof. Some handsome columns still 
mark the places where these porphyry pillars stood, but the 
originals went the way of all art, by the order of Napoleon ; 
and though many treasures 6f the church (not holy relics) 
which shared the same fate, were returned after the battle of 
Waterloo, these rich and rare pillars still remain at the 
Louvre. 

When our guide removed the oaken case which covers it, 
I sat down in the dead man's chair ; upon which he told me 
that Josephine also had placed herself, '<■ while the emperor 
stood there with his arms crossed upon his breast, looking 
at her." 

It was in a tone that seemed modestly to confess its want 

of high antiquity, that we were informed the choir of the 

church vras not more than seven hundred years old; but 1 

"^forgave its recent date in favour of its beauty ; it is simple, 

lofty, light, and elegant. 

A little golden crown and sceptre, for the figure of the 
Virgin at the altar, and still smaller ones for the infant on her 
arm, are pointed out as an offering from Mary Queen of 
Scots. 

Over the stone inscribed with the name of Charlemagne 
is suspended an enormous crown of silver gilt, the gift of Fre- 
derick Barbarossa ; it forms a lustre of forty-eight lights, and 
,is a beautiful and highly curious specimen of the goldsmith's 
art of the twelfth century. 

People from all quarters of the world have for ages consi- 
dered themselves as more holy if at any period of their lives 
they have made the J^ch/ahrt, or pilgrimage, to the munster 
of Charlemagne at Aix ; and the wealth, which their offerings 
have brought to the church is immense. No shrine in the 
world, I believe, boasts so many relics of first-rate sanctity as 
this. These sacred treasures are divided into tvvo classes, 
distinguished as the great and the little relics. The first class 



70 BELGIUM AND 

are exhibited every seventh year, from the 10th to the 24th 
of July ; and some centuries agOj the pilgrims, who came to 
visit there, were so numerous that the town could not contain 
the hundredth part of them ; and the fields for miles round 
were converted into stations of rest and refreshment. It is 
recorded that in the year 1496, no less than 142,000 persons 
arrived in one day to make their offerings. We had not the 
good fortune to arrive on the seventh year, and therefore only 
know by hearsay evidence that they consist of a chemise of 
the Virgin Mary, the swaddling clothes of the infant Jesus, 
the linen cloth which received the head of John the Baptist, 
the scarf worn by the Saviour at the crucifixion, and a small 
portion of the manna of the desert. These were all sent to 
Charlemagne by the Patriarch of Jerusalem in the year 799. I 
was told by a citizen who had often had the. advantage of be- 
holding it, that the chemise of the Virgin was of most prodigi- 
ous size, quite long enough for a person seven feet high. As for 
the little relics, they are displayed to all comers, and consist of a 
vast variety of treasures, both sacred and profane. The article 
which interested me the most amongst these was the ivory 
hunting-horn of Charlemagne; it is ornamented with gold, 
on which are repeatedly engraved the words ^' Mein! Ein!^' 

The Hotel de Ville stands on a part of the ground once 
occupied by the palace in which Charlemagne was born: and 
one of the towers, called the tower of Granus, is said not only 
to have been a part of his dwelling, but to have stood there 
long before, being decidedly of Roman construction. A 
bronze statue of this mighty king stands in the market-place 
before the Hotel de Ville; it is a work of the fourteenth cen- 
tury. 

It is not difficult, I believe, for a notable, persevering, 
check-defying antiquary to trace the course of the external 
walls of the old palace. They extend far and wide, and pass 
through the inclosures of many private dwellings. It appears 
that Charlemagne was particularly attached to this city, and 
declared it the second in his empire. The inscription upon 
his palace was — 

Hie sedes vegm trans Alpes habeatur caput 
Omnium provinciarum et civitatum Gallise, 



WESTERN GERMANY. 71 

Independent of all these memorials of history and romance, 
Aix-la-Chapelle is a beautiful and interesting town. Its hot 
springs are abundant, and held to be highly salubrious. The 
one which is of the highest temperature rises at Borcette, a 
little town perfectly distinct from Aix, but close to it. This 
Borcette spring is much too hot for the hand to endure; but 
I doubt its being actually boiling, as I have heard stated. We 
saw, however, several women taking pails of it for their 
washing, and were told that they never find it necessary to 
use any other in the process. The large smoking cauldron, 
which is open in the middle of the street at Borcette, has a 
very strange appearance, the vapour rising, and spreading up 
and down it, to a considerable distance. 

A gentleman, to whom we brought a letter of introduction, 
kindly accompanied us in a beautiful drive round the town. 
The Louisberg is a singular hill, rising very abruptly from 
the plain, and commanding a magnificent view. The forest 
of Ardennes makes an interesting feature in this fine land- 
scape. On and about this pretty little mountain are various 
memorials of Napoleon and his family. Josephine and Pau- 
line have given their names to temples, groves, and gates. 
The public walks begun by Napoleon, and completed by the 
present King of Prussia, are beautiful in no common degree. 

It was here that I first heard the name of the King of Prus- 
sia pronounced with that emphatic love, reverence, and ad- 
miration, which met us so frequently afterwards in the course 
of our travels through his dominions. I do not speak of the 
strong personal attachment of his nobles; but whoever will 
take the trouble of conversing with the lower and middling 
classes in Prussia, will hear their wise and good monarch 
spoken of as the father of his people. 

Had I travelled through the country half a century ago, it 
is probable that even an equal expression of attachment to 
the sovereign would not have struck me so forcibly. Loyalty 
was not then so rare and precious a plant as it has since be- 
come, and to feel a glow of universal satisfaction at the heart, 
because a good king was spoken of with love and reverence 
by his people, would have been hardly less extravagant, than 
if one had fallen into a rapture at hearing a son speak with 
affection of his father. 



72 BELGIUM AND 

*' For so it falls out, 
That what we have we prize not to the worth. 
Whiles we enjoy it; but being- lacked and lost. 
Why then we rack the value." 

While remarking on the strong feeling of attachment ex- 
pressed by all classes to. the King of Prussia; I am naturally 
led to mention the general result of my endeavours to dis- 
cover the real state of political feeling in the countries through 
which we travelled. To facilitate this object, I repeatedly 
accepted introductions from persons whose speculations had, 
I well knew, led them very far from what I considered as 
the principles of political wisdom. I did so from the wish 
of hearing those subjects fairly discussed abroad, which are 
so constantly thrust into all companies at home ; and in the 
expectation of obtaining, in the intercourse of general society, 
a more just idea of popular feeling than we can hope to obtain 
from all our newspapers, whether domestic or foreign : but, 
notwithstanding I thus threw myself in the way of what are 
called liberal politics, 1 never, except in one solitary instance, 
heard any sentiments or opinions expressed, in the slightest 
degree, approaching to the mad licentiousness of doctrine, 
which is weekly and daily poured forth by the presses of 
England. 

We are contiriually told by these, that there is a spirit 
abroad in Germany, which, in the fulness of time, is to bring 
forth revolution, — that massacre and rapine shall engender 
liberty and peace, and that, in a few short years, all the na- 
tions of the earth are to be levelled into one vast ocean of 
equality. 

Should this prophecy be fulfilled, the completion of it 
will not owe its origin to Germany. Not one of the vari- 
ous dynasties, whether great or small, included in that term, 
hold rule over a population disposed to seek their happiness 
or their glory in universal equality. There is a high-spirited 
and very noble sort of ambition about them, more likely to 
show itself in efibrts to raise their native thrones and scep- 
tres above all others on the earth, thao to trample the least 
atom of their dignity in the dust. Instead, therefore, of 
listening with blind faith to statements, as false as they are 
absurd, it would better become the wisdom of Englishmen 
to look out, with a feeling of emulation, at least, if not of 



WESTERN GERMANY. 73 

fear, at the enormous strides which that magnificent country 
is making to outstrip us in arts and commerce, in learning 
and in wealth. While we are mouthing out bombastic de- 
clamations upon liberty, they are quietly studying the pro- 
foundest theories of state policy ; and while we avowedly 
endeavour to make the ark of our government (the only se- 
curity by which we hold our lives and property) drive along 
by the current of popular tumult ; their rulers sit on high, 
marking the signs of the times, and making use of the light 
that is spread abroad, to steer their noble vessel on its 
course. 

One remarkable feature of difference between my own 
dear country, as seen in these latter days, and the land 
through which I was travelling, struck me very painfully. 
At home, 1 had of late been accustomed to hear every voice 
from the class, emphatically styled the people, whether heard 
through the medium of the press, or in listening to their 
conversation, expressive of contempt and dislike for their 
own country, its institutions, and its laws. 

The same class that I remember, in early youth, to have 
heard splitting the skies in vivats to their own glory, now 
mutter curses on the church of their fathers, and almost de- 
precate the flag round which they used to rally wi'th such 
proud enthusiasm. 

Far different is the state of public feeling in Germany. 
Ask a Prussian— not of that rank which makes the absence 
of any noble feeling a disgrace — but among those whose 
habits have not taught them the expediency of affecting ex- 
alted sentiment, if they have it not— ask such a one his 
opinion of his country, her government, and her king ; and 
you will be answered by such a hymn of love and praise, 
as might teach those, who have ears to hear, that passing 
a reform bill is not the most successful manner of secur- 
ing the affection and applause of the multitude. 



10 



74 



BELGIUM AND 



CHAPTER VI. 

Journey to Cologne— Reasons for Travelling— The Cathedral— Museum 
—Public Walks— Music — Bonn— Concert— Students Smoking. 

^ We left Aix-la-Chapelle in a diligence, not having at that 
time, fully mastered the problem of whether delay plus 
independence equalled in value despatch minus comfort. 
Our companions were, a very agreeable old militaire, com- 
mandant of Jailers ; a young student, going, I believe, to 
the University of Bonn ; and an elderly gentlewoman, who 
no sooner discovered me to be her countrywoman, than she 
appropriated me to herself, as her own particular listener ; 
two young men, her nephews, were in another part of the 
vehicle, and she therefore appeared to be greatly in want of 
such a commodity. I was rather vexed at being thus con- 
strained to give up hearing many amusing anecdotes, which 
our military companion was detailing ; but as I found some- 
thing very whimsical, though, perhaps, not very new, in the 
joro/e/ de voyage of my countrywoman, I soon gave her my 
undivided attention ; and, having scribbled our conversation 
as soon as it was over, I will transcribe it for the benefit of 
my reader, who may be at a loss for a reason why it is good 
for him to travel. 

"It is quite a pleasure," said the lady, "to meet an 
Englishwoman. I never speak anything but English. Pray, 
ma'am, is your journey to be a long or a short one ?" 

"As long as the summer will enable me to make it,'^ I 
replied. 

"Oh, then, I see that you travel quite in my way : you 
will go as far as possible within the time you can spare. 
My intention,'' she continued, "is to get as far as Geneva, 
and then to Paris .... How long may it be since you left 
London, ma'am ?" 

'I answered, that I believed it was about six weeks. 
. "Six weeks from London ! Why we have done it in six 
days. What can have delayed you so long ? 



WESTERN GERMANY. 75 

I tokl her, that we had met with many things which we 
were anxious to see. 

" I think that is just the notion, begging your pardon, 
that prevents people from ever taking a really long journey 
in proportion to the time they are about it. I, and my 
nephews, make a point of never stopping to look at things." 

"But does not such rapid travelling fatigue you ?" said I. 

"Oh, dear, no ! am I not sitting still all the time ? It is 
just so much rest — and that is exactly the reason I like tra- 
velling. Seeing sights would tire me to death — it always 
does in London ; but driving along in this way is quite 
pleasant. No, no ; nothing will ever induce me to tire my- 
self by running after curiosities in every town I pass through: 
I make the greatest point of never seeing sights." 

The commandant here drew my attention to some anec- 
dote about Napoleon, and, for a few minutes, I was permit- 
ted to listen to him ; but the lady then sought to renew our 
conversation, by asking if I were aware that the climate of 
Switzerland required great precaution. 

" We have very little luggage," said she ; " 1 am as par- 
ticular about that, as about not seeing sights. My young 
men and I have each of us a cloak-bag — that is all I allow ; 
but even in this I. have contrived to pack an oil-skin hood 
and cloak, for stepping in and out of the stages. I should be 
sadly put out, if I caught cold just in travelling through 
Switzerland." 

This was certainly the ne plus ultra of travelling for 
travelling sake ; but I afterwards encountered more than one 
party who appeared to proceed somewhat on the same prin- 
ciple. 

The weather was beautifully clear the day we arrived at 
Cologne, and from our windows at the Grossa Rheinberg 
we first caught the wild outline of the Siebengeberg^ or 
seven mountains. I have often heard these called the Dra- 
chenfels, why, I know not, for that name belongs only to 
one of the seven; but be this as it may, these Drachenfels, or 
Siebengeberg, or seven mountains, form a most magnificent 
portal to the scenery of the Rhine; and when seen, for the 
first time, beyond the plain on which Cologne is situated, 
they set the imagination busily at work, to anticipate all the 
wonders behind them. 



76 BELGIUM AND 

It was impossible to look upon the Rhine, and upon the 
misty sevenfold grandeur of these hills, without longing in- 
stantly to embark, and be amongst them. But the city of 
the three Kings was not to be treated thus; and a second 
thought recalled, not only the glories of Caspar, Melchior, 
and Balthasar, but also of the stupendous cathedral that shel- 
tered their relics. We therefore determined upon devoting 
two days to the venerable city, where Clovis was proclaimed 
king; and of which Pepin was duke, before he ascended the 
throne of France. Every quarter of Cologne is full of the 
highest historical interest; and, instead of two days, two 
months might be profitably spent in becoming acquainted 
with its antiquities: but as long as steamboats keep running 
up the Rhine, the giddy throng, who come flying over sea 
and land to look at its rocks and its ruins, will never spare 
time to examine this interesting old city, with one tenth 
part of the attention it deserves. 

The day after our arrival was, most fortunately for us, a 
Sunday; and we enjoyed a treat, which I will venture to 
say, no one can form the slightest idea of, if they have not 
themselves tasted it. It is difficult to speak of the Munster 
Church of Cologne, without employing words, which would 
to many appear greatly misplaced, when applied to a build- 
ing not more than half completed. Were 1 to say, for in- 
stance, that the most exalted imagination could conceive 
nothing more perfect in Teutonic architecture, it might per- 
haps be asked, if I considered deal planks as the perfection 
of Gothic roofing; and if I confessed that the impression 
made upon my mind was more like the effect of magic than 
of reality, I might hear that a tower half-reared, and sur- 
mounted by a hideous crane, could be obtained without the 
aid of necromancy. Nevertheless, in both cases, I should 
speak the truth. 1 can never forget, nor perhaps ever again 
hope to enjoy, the exceeding delight I experienced from 
hearing high mass performed in the quire of this matchless 
church. The graceful windows, each one a separate won- 
der, rearing their bold and light proportions to the towering 
roof, let in such streams of gorgeous coloured light, that the 
whole edifice glowed with it. 

The service was performed with great solemnity and 
pomp: the music, consisting of an organ, and very fine 



WESTERN GERMANY. 77 

string accompaniments, was most glorious; and the voices, 
rich, firm, and in perfect harmony, made us feel that we were 
indeed in Germany. In addition to all this, delicious in- 
cense rolled its sweet cloud of fragrance over our heads, and 
completed the enchantment. This beautiful quire is lined 
behind the stalls with tapestry, from designs by Rubens; it 
is so wretchedly faded, as to render the subjects nearly un- 
intelligible; but were they as fresh as in the hour when the 
needle finished its unprofitable labour, and had they been 
designed by Raphael, or Apelles himself, they would still be 
most miserably ill-placed where they are. What decora- 
tion of the kind cou]d look otherwise than pitiful, under a 
vault rising one hundred and fifty feet from the earth, on 
pillars so boldly majestic, that they branch into arches for 
its support, apparently only a few feet from its summit ? 

The miserable organ-loft, too, would be painfully felt to 
disfigure the sublimity of the building, were it not that the 
eye naturally rises to the immense space above, so rich in 
beauty from every source that can give splendour and noble- 
ness to a church; and the puny work of yesterday is for- 
gotten. 

It was not till after long and repeated visits to this won- 
derful building, that we recollected the absolute necessity of 
seeing the celebrated treasures it contains, in gems and relics: 
these are said to be immense in value — and so in truth they 
ought to be, in proportion to the extravagant sum asked for 
showing them, which is no less than fifteen francs. I believe 
I should have demurred at this demand, had not another 
party proposed to divide the fee with us. This arrangement 
being settled, we began to look, to wonder, and to admire, 
as ivory, gold, and precious stones v/ere displayed before us. 
'But the wonder of wonders is the Mausoleum of the East- 
ern Kings; with the most grave and dignified assumption of 
historical truth, you are informed that this splendid monu- 
ment contains not only the bones of Carpar, Melchior, and 
Balthasar, but likewise those of St. Felix, St.. Nabor, and 
St. (jregory. 

Let tlie bones contained in it be whose they may, the 
shrine itself is most superb; and when you enter the little 
tabernacle in which it is deposited, there is something so 
mj^stically glowing in the eternal lamplight reflected by the 
gold and precious stones, — something so horrific in the three 



78 BELGIUM AND 

grim skulls, protruding themselves from amidst the jewels 
with which they are encircled, for each one, 

*' The likeness of a king-ly crown has on," 

and the whole scene is at once so ghastly, and so gorgeous, 
that, for the moment, one is almost tempted to believe some 
real sanctity must be attached to the relics, which princes 
and prelates have for ages agreed to honour with such extra- 
vagant and strange devotion. The date of this singular 
monument is 1170. 

It is said that the King of Prussia is extremely desirous to 
finish, or at least to proceed with this splendid edifice: but, 
hitherto, all the money devoted to it, has but sufficed to 
carry on the costly, but most necessary, repairs. The 
foundations of the church are of basalt; but. Unfortunately, 
the superstructure is of the crumbling stone of the Drachen- 
fels, and the work of the elements is sadly visible upon it. 
Workmen are at present employed in covering the whole 
external surface with some unctuous composition, which it 
is hoped will preserve it from further injury; the colour of 
this is so nearly that of the stone itself, that when perfectly 
dry, it will not, I think, disfigure it. 

There is an admirable picture by Rubens in the church 
of St. Peter ; it represents the terrible crucifixion of that saint, 
and I could hardly have believed, unless I had felt it, how 
completely the influence of a powerful genius can overcome 
disgust and horror. Hideous as is the subject of this picture, 
it is impossible to look at it without delight. Rubens was 
christened in this church; and the house in which he was 
born, distinguished by his portrait hanging over the door, is 
at no great distance from it. 

The Musee de Wallrof has many curious old pictures, and 
a very interesting collection of local Roman antiquities. The 
rooms containing them were exceedingly crowded when we 
made our visit; so much so, indeed, as to make the passing 
from one to another a matter of considerable difficulty. 

We entered it on Sunday, immediately after the cathedral 
service, and found much interest and amusement in examining 
the appearance of the mixed assemblage which filled the 
rooms. The dresses in general were perhaps more picturesque 



WESTERN GERMANY. 79 

than elegant; the endimanches of the city, indeed, were 
many of them exceedingly well dressed; but the majority of 
the company had the appearance of peasants in their holiday 
attire; and the highly-finished, but uncouth groups in violet 
and in green, wdiich adorned the walls, though many of them 
stood forth from a back-ground of gold, were hardly more 
gaudy in colouring, or grotesque in outline, than some of 
the parties who came to visit them. 

The public walks and drives round the town, though seen 
to great disadvantage immediately after the beautiful prome- 
nades of x\ix-la-Chapelle, are very pretty, and almost every 
part of the city affords picturesque and interesting points of 
view. On crossing the bridge of boats to Deuty, the scene 
is peculiarly striking; the whole city, with all its variety of 
venerable towers, is spread out before the ej^e, and with the 
river for its foreground, forms a most magnificent picture. 

That peculiar national characteristic of Germany — a love 
of music, with the almost universal advantages of voice and 
ear, are strongly manifested at Cologne. At our table-d'hote 
we had a violin concerto, which many a London soiree would 
have gladly welcomed ; and the mere accidental warblings 
in the street, which reached methrough my chamber windows, 
were of a tone and cadence very unlike any sounds I had 
been accustomed so to hear. 

Much as I wished to find myself fairly launched on the 
Rhine, I regretted not having more time to devote to Co- 
logne : and as it was a city of vows, I registered something 
very like one in my memory, that I would not leave the 
country vs^ithout making it a second visit. 

On the 8th July we left this city of the kings for Bonn, 
by the Prince Frederick steam-boat; but. though greatly de- 
'lighted by the consciousness of being actually floating on that 
f^ abounding river,'' which has formed the theme of so much 
enthusiastic admiration, it was impossible to deny that its 
banks were, at this portion of it, as dev^oid of beauty as well 
could be. The Seven Hills, however, seemed to beckon us 
on, and to promise all that was wanting to give interest to a 
stream, which, in the copious volume, and immense rapidity 
of its waters, yields to so few of the rivers of Europe. Ex- 
cepting the gradual approach to these hills, there was nothing 
in this little voyage to atone to me for leaving Cologne so 



80 BELGIUM AND 

hastily: but on reaching Bonn, I found enough to convince 
me that I was travelling through a country where I shall find 
small leisure to lament the objects I had passed, amid the busy 
interest excited by those I had reached. 

If Bonn had nothing but its University, this would be suf- 
ficient to detain the traveller very delightfully for several 
days; but there are many other circumstances to repay such 
a delay. It is full of interesting antiquities, and it has the 
charm of being the first point at which one's expectations of 
beautiful scenery begin to be realized. There are views in 
the environs of Bonn, equal in extent and richness to almost 
anything on the Rhine. 

This very pretty town was formerly an electoral residence, 
and the palace, W'hich is an extensive and handsome building, 
at present makes part of the University. Everything con- 
nected with the University is upon a noble scale; the schools, 
the library, the academic walks, and gardens are all hand- 
some, and arranged in a grand and expensive style. To those 
who have their fancies over full of the Gothic glories of Ox- 
ford, or imagine that on any other spot of earth they shall 
meet the perfection of King's College Chapel, or the magni- 
ficence of Trinity College at Cambridge, Bonn may cause a 
sensation of disappointment: but to all who are sufficiently 
instructed to be aware that the academic magnificence of En- 
gland stands alone, it will appear what it really is, — a noble , 
and beautiful seat of learning. 

The bronze statue of the Empress Helen, the sainted mo- 
ther of Constantine, is the most interesting object in the ca- 
thedral, which has been too much defaced by repairs to 
retain any great claim to admiration. 

The walk on the Altezoll should by no means be neglected : 
both from thence and from the gardens behind the cafe, 
strangely styled Vinea Domini, the view is delightful. 

The musical reputation of Bonn is considerable: it boasts 
Beethoven among its eleves; and during the reign and resi- 
dence of the last elector, some of the first performers of the 
age made it their head-quarters. Perhaps it was this reputa- 
tion, though belonging rather to the past than to the present 
times, which induced us to give three hours of a lovely sum- 
mer'sevening to a public concert given by a Madame Milden. 
The sacrifice, for such I certainly felt it, was, however, not 



WESTERN GERMANY. 81 

in vain, the whole scene being new and amusing. The apart- 
ment used for this occasion was the ball-room, about one- 
fourth of Vv'hich was occupied by the orchestra; but without 
any other line of division than a clear space between the last 
bench occupied by the company and the first music-stands. 
We were told that there were between three and four hundred 
people present. 

I was extremely pleased to find myself in a room so well 
filled with German company; at a point sufficientl}^ distant 
from any metropolis to enable me to judge of the national 
style, when divested of that conventional air and tone which 
have made almost alL characteristic national varieties disap- 
pear in the great cities of Europe. This must inevitably be 
the case, whenever people agree to submit themselves to the 
uniform laws of high breeding and cultivated taste: but at 
Bonn this livery of elegance was neither to be hoped nor 
feared; and I found as many points of difference between Ma- 
dame Milden's concert, and all other assemblies of the same 
kind, that I had seen elsewhere, as I could possibly wish. 
Yet there was nothing in the slightest degree displeasing or 
uncouth. The extreme simplicity of dress was the first thing 
which struck me, while reviewing the female part of the 
company; but a few moments' prolonged examination of the 
faces around which the luxuriant tresses were so simply 
braided, sufficed to convince me that the fair girls were right 
to trust more to their blooming complexions, and sweet ex- 
pression of countenance, than to a more elaborate toilet: we 
remarked many extremely lovely faces among them. 

After the room.appeared to be perfectly full, a door, which 
I had not before remarked, opened to admit a party, some of 
whom had a very decided air of metropolitan bon ton. They 
"jjlaced themselves on chairs, on one side of the foremost 
bench, and the performance immediately began. 

A fair neighbour, who appeared very willing to converse 
with. me, announced their names and titles; but I forget 
both : I think she said that they resided in the neighbour- 
hood. One of the party was as lovely and graceful a woman 
as I ever saw. This distinguished vSet was immediately sur- 
rounded by a party of officers : on the broad chest of one of 
these I counted seven decorations. 

11 



82 BELGIUM AND 

The orchestra was very respectably filled, and one violin 
concerto excellent. Madame Pvlilden sung three or four 
songs in good style, and with a powerful voice, which had, 
however, seen better days ; but she was enthusiastically 
applauded ; and, when not singing, placed herself among the 
company, many of whom, particularly the elite, conversed 
with her with an air of great affability and kindness. 

Of course, no public meeting can take place at Bonn, in 
which the young students do not make a distinguished figure. 
On this occasion they did not appear to mix much with the 
company, but stood almost entirely apart in groups of three 
or four, and forming pictures, which made me fancy myself 
in a saloon with Vandyke and Rubens ; for certainly such 
must have been their models. 

I suppose it is in the nature of all young gentlemen, par- 
ticularly when congregated together, to mix a little fancy, 
and perhaps tant soit peu of affectation in their outward 
seeming. Something of this may assuredly be seen both at 
Oxford and Cambridge, despite the gown and cap which so 
greatly curb the display of individual whim : but at Bonn, 
where no academic dress is worn, the costume of the young 
men is sometimes marvellously imaginative. 

Whenever a set of European youths assemble to receive 
the last finish of their education, it is probable that some will 
always be found among them upon whom the stamp which 
marks the gentleman is too strongly impressed to permit any 
vagary of dress to conceal it : and of such many are to be 
seen among the students of Bonn ; but the majority are much 
more picturesque. 

Hair, long and exquisitely dishevelled, ; throats bare, with 
collars turned back almost to the shoulders; with here a 
miniature beard, curiously trimmed into a perfect triangle ; 
and there moustaches, long, thin, and carefully curled, might 
be seen repeated in one knot after another, through the whole 
length of the room. Some presented a fair young forehead 
bared a la Byron, and others looked about them with a wild 
eye rolling a la Juan. One had the pale cheek and deep-set 
eye of a premature philosopher ; while another looked with 
such a dashing, reckless sauciness upon all around, that I felt 
inclined to watch him, half from fear, and half from fun, to 



WESTERN GERMANY. 83 

see what mad-cap frolic would deliver him of the load of 
merry mischief that lay laughing in his eye. 

Not the slightest indecorum, however, to the amount even 
of a too audible whisper, disturbed the entertainment : and 
notwithstanding all we hear of the boisterous licence assumed 
by the students of Germany, I question if so large a party 
of young men could often be seen assembled, and remain as 
long together, so entirely without noise or disturbance of 
any kind. 

L' hotel de Cologne, where we had taken up our abode, 
was far from uncomfortable, though situated in a street so 
extremely narrow as to render a sitting-room, which was 
exactly opposite the one we occupied, rather nearer than we 
might have wished. It was inhabited by a young officer, 
upon whose retirement I would certainly not have permitted 
my eyes to intrude, had his mode of passing his morning 
permitted me to avoid it : but his two large windows being 
opened from the top to the bottom of the room, he took his 
coffee as much in public as if he had been on a stage ; and 
by no device, except sitting in total darkness, could we avoid 
seeing him. Such being the case, we submitted to the ne- 
cessity ; and certainly were not a little amused by the scene 
that passed before our eyes. On one side of his room hung 
a row of splendid pipes, amounting, I should think, to nearly 
a dozen : having dismissed his coffee, he selected one of these, 
and placing himself at the window, soon became enveloped 
in an atmosphere, the mysterious charm of which none, I 
suppose, but a German can fully understand. The counte- 
nance of our military nei^bour expressed all that tranquil 
serenity which one is sure to find on all features seen athwart 
a cloud of tobacco-smoke : but after a time the ample bowl 
became exhausted, and something like weariness seemed to 
mix itself with the supine beatitude he was enjoying. He 
placed his prodigious hookah against the window-frame, 
stretched his legs, and yawned. 

Ere long, however, the door opened, and a gentleman 
entered, whom he welcomed with the most cordial satis- 
faction : but the next moment, nay, the very same in which 
he grasped his hand in friendly greeting, he flew to his col- 
lection of pipes, and selecting the largest among them, put 



84 BELGIUM AND 

it into the hands of his friend. He then hastened to reple- 
nish his own, which being done, they both sat down together 
at the open window with every appearance of enjoyment, 
and in a few moments the mutual vapour hid them from our 
sight. This is a species of social pleasure which it is very 
difficult for the uninitiated to appreciate : we can only 
darkly guess its value, by weighing all that is sacrificed to 
obtain it. 



WESTERN GERMANY. • 87 

precipitous rock has been worked into as a quarry ; at least 
such is the tradition ; though the hoHow, pointed out as the 
spot from whence the stones were taken, is so high in air as 
to render the statement almost incredibly to me, particularly 
as the same stone might have been obtained below: but my 
doubts are quite unsupported by any authority. 

This bold attack upon Nature is said to have been made 
by Archbishop Conrad, in 1284, for the purpose of building 
the cathedral of Cologne ; and this point of the mountain 
is called the Domquarry. Another object at which we were 
bid to look was a yawning cavern, which opened its black 
portal in a hollow on the opposite side of the little ravine, 
over which we hung; This mysterious-looking chasm is 
called the Dombruch ; and the man very gravely assured us, 
that it was the home of the celebrated dragon who had 
given his name to the mountain on which we stood. Ex- 
actly overlooking the abode of this ominous neighbour, 
stands the castle, whose origin is so remote as to be lost in 
fable. Some portion of the beetling rock on which it stands 
has been rent away ; and the ruin now literally hangs over 
the precipice, one corner of it projecting several feet beyond 
any support whatever. The view from this point is prodi- 
giously grand ; and all the features of the spot are wild and 
impressive in the extreme. On the very summit of the 
mountain, and there only, Henry discovered an enormous 
block of lava ; which, in conjunction with the crater-like form 
of the Wolkenberg, just below it, made us feel that we were 
in a region which had been visited by some violent convul- 
sion of Nature. 

While we were enjoying all this in perfect silence, our 
guide suddenly thought proper to awaken the celebrated echo 
of the Siebengeberg by some of the most hideous noises that 
the voice of man ever produced. If such sounds be often 
heard, repeated from rock to rock, and from mountain to 
mountain, it is not wonderful that this castled peak has the 
reputation of being haunted ; for never did more unearthly 
notes strike upon the ear than those our Caliban of a guide 
produced. He laughed, he shrieked, he bellowed, till the 
dragon himself might have trembled to hear him. 

On descending from the mountain, which we did on the 
side farthest from the river, we had a singular and beautiful 



88 ' BELGIUM AND 

view over the wavy tops of the innumerable hills, from among 
which the Siebengeberg rise. It was, I confess, in this di- 
rection only, that I could perceive any portion of that sub- 
limity which I had heard so lavishly attributed to the region 
of the Drachenfels. The Oelberg, which, I believe, is the 
highest, rises only 1827 feet above the level of the river; 
and though they form altogether a very noble feature in a 
very beautiful landscape, I cannot think they merit the 
epithet of sublime. But this vast extent of vine-covered 
heights, with the dark and intricate valleys, which wind along 
them, the frequent bare masses of rock, protruding their ca- 
pricious forms, and looking like the giant inhabitants of the 
woods, added to the seven bolder heights that raise their 
crested heads above them all, form together a scene so wild, 
so desolate, as may well justify the use of such a term. 

It is only during a part of the descent, however, that this 
is enjoyed; the road winds round the side of the mountain, 
and ere long brought us in sight of a landscape, forming as 
perfect a contrast to it as it is well possible to imagine. The 
splendid river rolled its vast mass of waters at our feet: be- 
low us hung terrace after terrace of vines, just swelling with 
the promise of an abundant vintage: while, on the opposite 
bank, such fields of yellow corn were spread out before us, 
as might have made Ceres herself laugh to look upon them. 
Never, I think, did so short a space divide scenes so utterly 
discordant. 

After recrossing the river, we took a path through the 
fields, which led us by a short cut to Godesberg. The fine 
ruins of its castle were exactly before us, and we saw the sun 
set behind them in a style of unusual splendour. The whole 
mass seemed on fire; for the rich red light streamed through 
every crevice of the ruined wall, and appeared to wrap round 
the base of the isolated tower, making it look much smaller 
at bottom than at top: the effect of this delusion was most 
singular. 

How keenly we enjoyed our delicious coffee after this long 
expedition ! The fair hands of Mademoiselle (for thus only 
was our active little landlady ever designated) prepared it; 
and the assiduous attention w^ith which she performed every 
service of the kind, most assuredly deserves to be recorded 
in recommendation of the "Beautiful Sight.'' Notwithstand- 



WESTERN GERMANY. 89 

ing there were waiters and chambermaids in abundance, this 
kind-hearted little lady seemed to mix her own thoughtful 
care with every service they performed ; and one felt certam 
that it was only necessary to make '\ Mademoiselle''' ac- 
quainted with a wish or want, to have it supplied promptly, 
cheerfully, and efiectually. 

The next day we set out upon an exploring walk, Mr. H. 
with his pencil, and Henry with his hammer. After linger- 
ing for awhile am.ong the beautiful ruins of Godesberg, we 
turned to the left, and passed through fields profuse in their 
promises of bread and wine, till w^e reached the wood that 
covers the whole range of hills from Godesberg to Bonn. 
Here we soon fell into a gravel path, so pleasant to the feet, 
and so abounding in pretty points from which to look out 
upon the river below, that w^e were led on by the mere plea- 
sure of walking, without any definite object in view, for a 
distance that we afterwards learned was nearly four miles. 

At length we reached an open space, where the wood, 
and indeed every trace of vegetation, suddenly ceased; and 
we saw an enormous mine before us, in and about which a 
vast number of workmen were employed. We soon found 
that we had blindly stumbled upon a most interesting spot — 
no other than the extensive brown-coal deposit of Friesdorf. 
Even the most ignorant eye cannot examine this singular 
formation with indifierence; and I am tempted to transcribe 
a note from my son's journal, which, I think, describes it 
more intelligibly than I can do. 

" The stratum contains large masses of wood in every stage, 
from simple wood, to stone, or iron ore, which still retain all 
the marks of organization. The superior stratum of this 
range of hills is gravel: under this there is a stiff',^blue, sandy 
clay, which is used in a neighbouring pottery. This has thin 
layers of the brown coal in it, and likewise detached masses 
of wood, together with sulphuret of iron mineralizing the 
smaller branches. Beneath this is the first stratum of brown 
coal, about five feet thick, or rather more in some places; 
under this is the alum earth, sufficient in quantity to employ 
some considerable alum works erected close to the excavation. 
I have collected several good specimens of the fossil wood, 
in all its different stages— one of them, a stem imbedded in 
the iron ore, is extremely beautiful. The fossil remains of 

12 



90 BELGIUM AND 

several kinds of fishes, and a very few fresh-water shells, 
have also been found here, from which there is great reason 
to believe this brown coal formation to be a lacustrine depo- 
sit. I am told that some trunks of trees have been found of 
thirty feet in circumference, and that all lie in an east and 
west direction. 

" The stratum of alum earth, beneath the brown coal, is of 
a dark purple or almost black colour, and very unctuous to 
the touch: there are crystals of the alum in the small fissures 
of the clay, of a very pure white, but exceedingly minute. 
This stratum is also about five feet thick, and beneath it is 
another of the brown coal of nine feet. Under this is white 
clay, which, I am told, has been bored to the depth of sixty 
feet, without coming to its termination." 

After passing above an hour in examining what looked 
like the relics of a buried forest, we proceeded to visit the 
alum works and the pottery. A great number of men were 
employed in each; and both here, and among the much larger 
number engaged in the difierent processes of the brown-coal 
works, we were struck with the respectful and unobtrusive 
civility of the labourers. When they observed us engaged 
in examining the fragments of disinterred wood which were 
lying about, many of them came around us with specimens; 
but the moment they had put them into our hands they re- 
tired, without showing the least indication of expecting to 
be paid for them. 

The following morning we again crossed the Rhine to 
Kcenigswinter, when I once more mounted the obedient 
donkey who had done me such good service on my former 
expedition, and, attended by my two squires, prepared to 
mount the Stromberg. Nothing can be much less interest- 
ing than the road which leads to its summit, for it is cut 
through a wood so thickly grown, that a high, dark vegeta- 
ble wall is all you can see on either side. The ascent is not 
so steep as that of the Drachenfels, but much longer, and 1 
was heartily tired before I reached the top. Here we hoped 
to be rewarded for our tedious climbing; but found the 
trees too high in every direction to permit our seeing any- 
thing on earth but themselves, and the singular little church 
dedicated to St. Peter, which crowns the very summit of the 
mountain. It is said that this almost inaccessible chapel was 



WESTERN GERMANY. 91 

built by a knight, named Dielher, in consequence of a vow 
made in Palestine. This story is rendered probable by the 
impossibility of supposing that any, not bound by a vow, 
would have selected such a spot for the purpose. A small 
shanty for the sale of schnaps, (milk and black bread) to 
restore the strength of any pious pilgrims who may reach it, 
is now the only human habitation on the Stromberg. 

It is recorded, however, that in days of yore sundry holy 
hermits made it their abode: if so, these self-denying an- 
chorites might truly be said to have been above temptation ; 
and, as they proved themselves quite unfit for earth and its 
blessings, by choosing the dank hollows of this dismal moun- 
tain to dwell in, instead of the rich and smiling valley at its 
foot, let us hope they were more fit for heaven. 

We descended by a different path from that which led us 
up, and again enjoyed a view over the dark, dreamy region 
which we saw when coming down the Drachenfels. Never- 
theless, mounting the Stromberg, or Petersberg, as it is often 
called, is an exploit, which I would recommend to no travel- 
ler, who has not a positive pleasure in the art of climbing, 
independently of any object to be attained by it. It is cer- 
tain, however, that this mountain, uninteresting as it appears 
at present, must have been held in much religious reverence; 
for we counted no less than fifty-six crosses, or stations, as 
they are called, on its side. Many of these have evidently 
been lately repaired, and still more have the marks of recent 
devotion; for we saw many flowers, not yet completely 
faded, either lying at the feet of the Saviour, or adorning the 
brows of his mother. 

A proof of this feeling was given by the lad who acted as 
our guide. As I preferred walking to riding down the de- 
, scent, I dismissed him with the donkey soon after we reach- 
ed the top. As we returned, following in the path he had 
taken, we observed a bright fresh wreath of beech-leaves 
twusted round the bust of a wooden Virgin, while evident 
traces of my donkey's hoofs were visible upon the side of 
the little hillock, on which she was stationed. 

There is something to me extremely pleasing in these 
outward and visible signs of religious feeling, especially 
when demonstrated where no human eye is expected to 
approve it: nor can they, I think, be classed with those 



92 BELGIUM AND 

superstitious observances with which the Roman Catholic 
religion has been so reasonably reproached. 

Another day of our stay at Godesberg, or, at least, the 
morning of it, was spent in visiting Kreutzberg, a high and 
very singular hill near Bonn. The road which led to it 
passed through Poppelsdorf, where some handsome build- 
ings connected with the University of Bonn are situated. 
Every feature in the scenery of this village is beautiful, and 
the road that leads to the top of Mount Calvary, or Kreutz- 
berg, magnificent. 

The isolated building that stands on the summit of this 
hill, was formerly a convent of Servites; it is surrounded by 
an ample garden, and commands one of the finest views in 
the neighbourhood. At present it appears to be occupied 
solely by peasants; and the only trace left of this once cele- 
brated establishment is the church, which is still considered 
as an edifice of peculiar sanctity. All travellers are sent to 
this spot, both to see the wondrous chapel, and to look upon 
the long-interred, but still undecayed bodies of the monks, 
which lie in a vault beneath it. 

We met here, as indeed happened to us in many other 
points of our wanderings, a very agreeable party of Dutch 
travellers, who, like ourselves, were come to look at the 
wonders of the place. The rencontre was particularly for- 
tunate upon this occasion, as we had long to wait before the 
guardian of the tomb returned from an excursion he was 
making in the neighbourhood. Meantime, however, we had 
the church to see. Having sufficiently examined its various 
altars and antique monuments, we were led, by a narrow 
staircase behind the high altar, to a small chamber above. 
As there was nothing whatever in this room to gratify 
curiosity, its only decorations being a few copes and sur- 
plices, hanging upon the walls, we were at a loss to guess 
why we were brought there; but, after a few moments' delay, 
our conductor opened a door, and led us from the dark ob- 
scure room in which we stood into a chapel, extremely rich 
in its decoration, but of most singular form and arrangement. 
The entire width of the building (between thirty and forty 
feet) is occupied by a magnificent flight of stairs, divided 
into three compartments. The centre one, which occupies 
about half the entire space, is of superb Italian marble; this 



WESTEHN GERMANY. 93 

is fenced on each side by a handsome double balustrade, 
dividing it from the inferior staircases which flank it, and 
which reach to the outer wall of the building : at the top of 
the marble stair at an altar, with a large-figure of the Saviour 
suspended over it. 

The door by which we entered was on a level with this 
altar; and having stepped to the front of it, I was about to 
descend the marble flight, when our conductor seized my 
arm, and exclaimed in French, with much vehemence, " These 
stairs are sacred!" 

I apologized for my indecorous attempt, by stating my 
ignorance of their history : the offence, I imagine, is not an 
uncommon one among the num.erous heretic travellers who 
visit the shrine, for he readily accepted the excuse ; and pro- 
ceeded to inform us, that three drops of the Saviour's blood 
rest upon these holy stones. " They fell,'' he said, ''from 
the wounds the thorns had made, and dropped on the steps 
which led to the judgment-seat of Pilate." The morsels of 
stone which received them are inserted on three of the mar- 
ble stairs, and are covered by thin plates of gold. This 
relic, together with the sumptuous marble in which it is 
lodged, was a gift from one of the Archbishops of Cologne 
to the monastery of Kreutzberg ; accompanied by a bull 
from the Pope, which hangs near the entrance to the chapel, 
announcing to all pilgrims, who may visit the holy spot, that 
it is sacrilege to place a foot upon the centre stairs (except 
for an armed knight, wdiose armour would prevent him from 
using his knees); but that to mount them kneeling, insures 
plenary indulgence for a year. 

The form of the ceiling is very graceful, and ornamented 
with fresco painting. On the floor of the building, imme- 
'diately at the foot of the stairs, are a pair of enormous fold- 
ing doors, which open upon the forest ; through these, in 
more Catholic times, vast numbers of pilgrims used to pour 
at particular seasons of the year to perform this act of devo- 
tion. 

Beneath this chapel is a subterranean chamber, represent- 
ing the stable, and all the accompaniments of the nativity. 
Among the numerous plaster figures which occupy the scene, 
we recognized our friends Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar, 
in the act of presenting their gifts. Everything about this 



94 BELGIUM AND 

singular place seems to mark the very extremity of super- 
stitious devotion. 

The examination of all this took more than an hour ; but 
still the sacristan had not returned. The Dutch party, as 
well as ourselves, were desirous to wait for him ; for it was, 
in fact, the sight he had. to show which had brought us there: 
so we walked in the garden^ we climbed the tower, we ate 
cherries, we read every inscription in the church, yet still 
he came not. At length, much fatigued, but, nevertheless, 
stedfast in our determination to wait for him, we all assembled 
round the high altar, near which was a large trap-door that 
opened upon the vault ; and having seated ourselves upon 
the steps and benches round it, endeavoured to beguile by 
conversation the still prolonged absence of the sacristan. 

I remarked on this occasion, and, in truth, on every other 
that gave me an opportunity of conversing with them, that 
the Dutch are not only extremely courteous in their manner 
to strangers, but that they are particularly well-informed and 
intelligent. After this observation, it will appear like na- 
tional vanity if I say that they resemble the English : but 
they certainly do so, in their passion for travelling ; and in 
the active perseverance of their researches for information. 
I do not, however, claim these remarks as my own : they 
were made to me by a German of high rank, who knew both 
countries well. He added, that the English and Dutch were 
often mistaken for each other at the German inns : " but 
this,'^ said he, '^probably arises from the wealth and indiffe- 
rence to expense so remarkable in both." 

At length the person we were all so anxiously awaiting 
entered the church. I hardly know what we had expected 
from this sepulchral examination ; but it certainly must have 
been something very different from the reality ; for we were 
jesting and laughing when the man arrived : and even when 
we saw the two lads, who accompanied him, raise the massy 
door, I believe not one of us felt any portion of the awe 
which the scene it opened to us was calculated to inspire. 
The sacristan, with a lighted candle in his hand, descended 
a dark and narrow flight of steps, desiring us to follow him : 
I was the first that did so ; and I shall not soon forget the 
spectacle that met my eyes. On each side of us, as we en- 
tered the vault, was ranged a row of open coffins, each con- 



WESTERN GERMANY. 95 

taining the dry and shrivelled body of a monk, in his robe 
and cowl. They are so placed as to be exposed to the closest 
examination both of touch and sight ; and the remembrance 
of my walk through them still makes me shudder. 

The wonderful state of preservation in which these bodies 
remain, though constantly exposed to the atmosphere by 
being thus exhibited, is attributed by good Catholics to the 
peculiar sanctity of the place : but to those who do not re- 
ceive this solution of the mystery, it is one of great dijffi- 
culty. The dates of their interment vary from 1400 to 
1713 ; and the oldest is quite as fresh as the most recent. 
There are twenty-six, fully exposed to view ; and apparently 
many more beneath them. From the older ones, the coffins 
have either crumbled away, or the bodies were buried with- 
out them. In some of these ghastly objects the flesh is still 
full, and almost shapely upon the legs ; in others it appears 
to be drying gradually away, and the bones are here and 
there becoming visible. The condition of the face also 
varies very greatly, though by no means in proportion to 
the antiquity of each. In many, the nose, lips, and beard 
remain ; and in one, the features were so little disturbed, 
that 

** All unruffled was his face. 

We trusted his soul had gotten grace." 

Round others, the dust lies where it had fallen, as it dropped, 
grain by grain, from the mouldering cheeks ; and the head 
grins from beneath the cowl nearly in the state of a skeleton. 
The garments are almost in the same unequal degree of pre- 
servation : for in many the white material is still firm, though 
discoloured; while in others it is dropping away in frag- 
-ments. The shoes of all are wonderfully perfect. 

The last person buried in this vault was one who acted as 
gardener to the community. His head is crowned with a 
wreath of flowers, which still preserves its general form : 
nay, the larger blossoms may yet be distinguished from the 
smaller ones ; but the withered leaves lie mixed with his 
fallen hair on either side. 

Altogether the scene is well calculated to produce a cold 
shiver in the beholder ; and yet we all lingered over it. 



96 BELGIUM AND 

There is certainly some nerve within us, that thrills with 
strange pleasure at the touch of horror. 

Our Jong delay at Kreutzberg prevented our return to the 
hotel in time for the table-d'hote ; and though sufficiently 
fatigued to render a lazy, lounging meal very agreeable, we 
had begun to find so much charm in the society, that we 
much regretted losing it on this occasion ; and the more so, 
as the time drew near when we must lose it probably for 
ever. While recalling the party, which we found on arri- 
ving at Godesberg, and which continued together as long as 
we remained, I am tempted to give a slight sketch of the 
principal members of it ; chiefly for the benefit of such of 
my countrymen, and countrywomen, as maybe fearful. of 
speaking at a public table when travelling, lest their words 
should fall on ears not sufficiently refined to be worthy of 
receiving them. This shrinking kind of aristocracy is 
worse than needless when travelling in Germany ; and I be- 
lieve it occasions to those who yield to it the loss of half the 
pleasure their travels might afford. 

Should these pages reach any of the party to whom I al- 
lude, and should they recognize the portraits, I trust they 
will forgive the freedom, as it goes not the length of affixing 
names ; and will accept the record as a proof of the pleasing 
remembrance I cherish of them. 

At the head of the table was the Dowager Baroness 

, of one of the noblest houses in Germany. Short as 

was my acquaintance with this lady, I could not fail to per- 
ceive that she was a person of no common endowments ; 
full of spirited and original observation, and gifted with that 
enviable species of wit which makes even an ordinary 
thought seem striking. She never spoke without winning 
all within reach of her to listen. 

On her left hand sat Count ; a very distinguished 

Belgian officer, of the old regime, who was on the Duke of 
Wellington's staff' at Waterloo : on her right, his lovely, 
graceful, and most fascinating Countess. This charming 
woman was more like the heau ideal of a fabled heroine, 
than any person I ever saw. Were I to follow such a being 
as Madame d'Arblay's Cecilia into married life, I should 
fancy her just such another. I have often watched the 
Countess in the garden before our hotel, surrounded 



WESTERN GERMANY. 101 

traveller need start from, whose only object is to visit the 
Laacher See, I will give the whole of the long day's excur- 
sion, as it passes through a very interesting district. 

" Leaving Linkel, we proceeded along the eastern bank of 
the Rhine; after an hour's walk we reached Erpel, an 
extensive village of poor vignerons; and a little beyond this 
is the celebrated basalt rock, called the Erpel Sei. It is of 
the columnar basalt; and is reckoned a very fine specimen; 
and so it certainly is in respect to its size; but for the beauty 
of the columns, I prefer the quarries opposite Linkel, or 
Roland Seek ; where there is a fine collection of bare co- 
lumns heaped together in confused masses. From Erpel we 
continued our walk through the old city of Lintz, and under 
the interesting chateau of Argentfels, and passed through 
several small hamlets whose names have escaped me. Hav- 
ing reached Rheinbrohl, we crossed the Rhine, and entered 
the beautrful valley of the Brohl-thal, which runs nearly at 
right angles to the Rhine, and leads towards the Eifel moun- 
tains. We wound along this deep and narrow valle}^, till 
we reached the mineral spring of Soenstein, which, I believe, 
is a contraction for Antoenstein, or Anthony's stone. The 
spring contains much fixed air, and tastes very much like 
soda water. We went into a little inn near the spring; and 
mixing wine and sugar with some of the water, it effervesced 
strongly, and made a very refreshing draught. A great 
quantity of this water is exported, and near the source is a 
manufactory of stone bottles for the purpose. Here we 
began to mount the steep hills to the left of the valley. My 
companion was highly agreeable and entertaining; and when 
the interest of the surrounding objects flagged, beguiled the 
way with amusing anecdotes of his military life, and by 
giving me much valuable information respecting the country. 
He spoke very highly of the Prussian system of making 
every man in the kingdom, of whatever rank, to bear arms 
for three years. Even the king's sons are not exempt from 
this universal law: they v/ear the uniform, and do the duty 
of common soldiers, and stand guard before the palace of 
Berlin, with a musket on the shoulder. When in society, 
they wear the same dress as to form and colour; but are then 

permitted to have it made of a finer material. Captain 

told me that he had had the sons of princes in his troop; who 



102 BELGIUM AND 

did all the duty as privates, cleaned their own horses and 
arms, and stood the usual time on guard. 

** As we mounted the hill, we began to see large masses 
of lava lying in all directions; and the crosses and crucifixes 
which stood thick upon the road-side, are all carved from the 
same material. The soil here is not very good; and the farms 
are small and poor. Another hour's walking, the road rising 
steeply before us the whole way, brought us to Wapanach, 
a village not far from the lake we had come to see. Here 
we ordered our dinner at an inn, which was formerly the 
castle of a knight, who is said to have committed many black 
and fearful crimes, and afterwards to have taken refuge in 
the beautiful monastery, which is still to be seen in admirable 
preservation on the south-western corner of the lake — and 
here, dit-on he ended his days. 

'^ Leaving Wapanach behind us, we again toiled up to a 
great height through woods and corn-fields. The woods 
which surround the Laacher See are royal forest lands, and 
are of very great extent: they contain much game; deer and 
wild boars are very abundant in them. When we reached 
the skirts of this forest, we turned round, and resting on our 
stafis, enjoyed the magnificent view which this elevated spot 
commanded. In the distance was the high chain of theWes- 
terwald, to which we looked across the charming valley of 
the Rhine. To the north were the towering tops of the 
Seven Mountains, with the singular basalt-capped hills of 
the Hochwald, speaking plainly of their violent and igneous 
birth; behind us were the Eifel mountains, on a small branch 
of which we stood ; at our feet wound a little valley, deep 
sunk between the richly wooded and precipitous hills we had 
ascended. 

''' Having gazed on this landscape for a few minutes, we 
entered the wood ; and descending for a short distance, came 
upon the Laacher See. It would be impossible for me to 
describe the astonishment I felt, even though prepared for 
the scene that opened upon me. I had just climbed to a 
great height, and but a few^ moments before had been gazing 
upon distant valleys far beneath me, yet here I stood beside 
the blue expanse of an inland sea. It appeared to be the ef- 
fect of magic, and I felt utterly confounded. 

^' The lake is a mile and half long, and a mile wide ; it is 



WESTERN GERMANY. 103 

surrounded on all sides by hills, without any visible outlet. 
To the north and east these hilly banks are very steep, and 
beautifully wooded to the water's edge, and the pendant 
boughs dip themselves in the lake. To the west the bank 
rises more gradually, and pastures border the water, reaching 
upward to the noble forest, which here also crowns the sum- 
mit with a most luxuriant growth. To the south are bare, 
uncultivated peaks, which proclaim a volcanic origin; and 
their sterile nakedness contrasts finely with the rich foliage 
and smiling meadows which surround the lake on the other 
sides. Vast masses of lava lie scattered round; and I have 
no doubt that they are right, who in this mountain lake think 
they discover the crater of an extinct volcano. 

'' The accounts given respecting its waters differ: while 
some assert that neither the heaviest rains nor the longest 
droughts ever cause them to rise or fall an inch; others relate, 
that the inhabitants of the monastery on its edge were once 
nearly overwhelmed by their sudden swell. This lake is 
of great depth, — some say it has never been fathomed; and 
the peasants all declare that bottom it has none. The waters 
are quite clear, and as blue as in the middle of the Atlantic." 



104 BELGIUM AND 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Rolandseck — Orlando Furioso — Nonnenwortli — Unkel — Neuwied — Co- 
blentz — The Moselle — Steam-boat Passengers — Mayence. 

We were not sorry to hear that the delightful party at our 
table d'hote was to be broken up by the departure of some 
of its chief ornaments, on the same day that we had deter- 
mined upon leaving Godesberg. Had it been otherwise, I 
think we should have looked behind us with too much regret 
to have permitted our fully enjoying the journeying forward. 
As it was, we said adieu as well as we might; and set off on 
the 17th July in Mademoiselle's rattling sociable for Roland- 
seck. This is a little hamlet of a few houses only, situated 
at the foot of a basaltic rock, on the summit of which stands 
the lonely tower of Roland. 

Having been assured that this scathed and crumbling frag- 
ment was built by no less a wight than the luckless, but mag- 
nificent hero of Ariosto, I could not resist my inclination to 
halt beneath it. 

The situation, indeed, is attractive enough to justify the 
loitering of a day, even to those who felt no interest in the 
ruin. Exactly opposite to Rolandseck is the pretty island 
of Nonnenworth, on which stands a very noble mansion, for- 
merly a nunnery, but now a most delightful hotel. Here 
we decided upon passing the night; after devoting an hour 
or two to climbing the hill, examining the wonderful forma- 
tion of basalt of which it is composed, and peering into every 
nook and cranny of Orlando's Castle. It cannot be denied, 
I fear, that this idol of romancers was a very faithless and 
fickle lover; and, questionless, the departure of his wits to 
the moon was a punishment for his infidelities. 

It was one of his numerous love affairs which led to the 
construction of this most desolate dwelling-place upon the 
rock above Rolandseck. Its legend tells us of a noble maiden, 
who, having won the love of the hot-brained Paladin, pre- 
ferred the sheltering cloister of Nonneworth to all the worldly 
pleasures he could offer. Whereupon he built this lonely 



WESTERN GERMANY. 105 

tower, that he might look upon the roof which sheltered her. 
But even this sad consolation was not long enjoyed ; for one 
evening, as he stood before his tower, he saw the whole train 
of nuns issue from the principal gate of the building, and 
wind round to the entrance of the vaults beneath the chapel. 
Here they stopped ; and a coffin was borne forward from 
among them, under the low arch of the tomb. The plain- 
tive notes of a funereal chaunt reached his ear, — his heart told 
him it was the requiem for his love; and, darting from the 
place where he stood, he dashed down the face of the preci- 
pice, springing from rock to rock till he reached the bottom ; 
on arriving there he mounted his war-horse, which ever stood 
ready, and galloped off to King Charlemagne's court at Aix. 

Those who recall this tale while the Rolandseck rock 
rises before their eyes, will allow it to be in keeping with 
many of the feats recorded by Ariosto of this same fiery 
hero. 

As we mounted the zigzag terraces of the vine-covered 
hill, on which the ruin stands, the notes of a duet of Mozart's, 
most deliciously sung, reached us by snatches from two 
young men, who came bounding down the declivity to- 
wards us. They politely stood aside, and ceased their song 
as we passed. I would rather have been rudely jostled, had 
they but continued it. But we stopped to listen, after they 
had passed the next turning ; and again we heard their rich 
young voices, like the music of Ariel, floating about us. 

It is difficult to give an idea of the sort of magical effect 
produced by hearing sounds so sweet, and so perfect in their 
artist-like harmony, from among trees and rocks and desert 
wildernesses. Often as this happened during our journey, I 
never ceased to experience from it all the delight produced 
by pleasure when completely unexpected. 

Having been told to see the sun set from Roland's tower, 
we contrived that so it should be ; and I beg to transmit the 
same recommendation to all who may chance to follow in 
our track. It must have been from some such spot, and at 
such an hour, that Claude studied those effects of light and 
darkness which " enchant the world." 

On descending from Rolandseck, we crossed to the island 
of Nonnenworth, with just light enough left to show us the 
most perfect reflections on the water that I ever saw. 

14 



106 BELGIUM AND 

As it is my especial ambition that these volumes should 
become a profitable guide-book to all who may travel by the 
route they describe, I will venture, even at the risk of being 
tedious, to dwell a little upon the charms of this beautiful 
island, and on the peculiar interest of its solitary mansion. 
I am principally led to. do so by the statement of our host 
at the hotel ; who told me that before steamboats were esta- 
blished on the Rhine, all travellers, especially the English, 
used to come in crowds to his house, and pass a week or fort- 
night there, exploring; the country on both sides, in every di- 
rection : ''But now,^' he added piteously, "they drive past, 
as fast as they can go, and never set foot on shore, except at 
night, from Amsterdam to Mayence.'^ 

Though not so deeply interested in the affair as the inn- 
keeper, 1 really lament this alteration in the mode of travel- 
ling ; for I am convinced that the expressions of disappoint- 
ment, which we must all have occasionally heard of late from 
our touring friends, respecting the scenery of this celebrated 
river, arise chiefly from the earlier pictures of it having been 
given by such as have loitered through every "dingle and 
bushy delF' upon its banks. Those who have watched its 
majestic waters, not from the crowded stern of a steamboat, 
but while luxuriating in the shelter of some deep cool val- 
ley, winding upward from its banks ; or have looked down 
upon them from the dark shade of a ruined w^atch-tovver, 
perched so high as to make the broad stream itself but a 
small feature in the landscape ; or indulged themselves, per- 
haps, for hours in gazing, when lovelier still, its bosom gave 
back the bright image of a moon-lit sky, while rocks and 
ruins hung their black shadows over it, — may well paint it 
differently from the tourist of later days ; who knows it 
only by standing on the deck of a vessel, with a panoramic 
view of the Rhine in his hand, turning his head this side to 
see one ruin, and that side to see another ; — his finger placed 
with nervous eagerness upon some famous promontory, and 
his thumb on a first-rate castle,— while kept in a state of 
feverish agitation, lest the panting engine should bear him 
out of reach before he can get a peep at either. 

Before this mode of seeing the Rhine became the fashion, 
Nonnenworth was one of the favourite points at which tra- 
vellers took up their rest ; and there are a multitude of rea- 



WESTERN GERMANY. 107 

sons, both real and fanciful, that render it a spot of peculiar 
attraction. The real reasons must of course rank first ; and 
these are, — its possessing the very best accommodation in 
every way; excellent rooms, excellent cuisine, excellent 
wines ; and, though last not least, its benig in a neighbour- 
hood abounding with objects of every kind that can most 
interest an intelligent traveller. For its fanciful advantagi|s 
— it might perhaps be wiser to keep them to myself; and so 
I would, did I not believe that many others would feel as 
much gratification as 1 did, in exploring every part of this 
magnificent nunnery, vvith all its distinctive features carefully 
preserved, and the traces of its late holy tenants still legible 
on every part of it. 

Nonnenworth was a very rich establishment for a nume- 
rous society of noble recluses, when Napoleon took posses- 
sion of the country. He signified his will that it should 
share the -fate of all the similar institutions which had fallen 
into his hands. But, by some means or other, the holy la- 
dies got access to Josephine ; and received her promise, that 
she would use all her influence to obtain permission from the 
Emperor for them to keep possession of their island and 
their fane, as long as any of them should survive. This was 
granted, but on express condition that no new sisters were 
to be received. For several years the society continued to 
exist, though gradually decreasing. Nothing, as my infor- 
mant told me, and she knew them well, could be more 
mournful than the meeting of this lessening band at the 
hours of re-union. The stately gallery of the chapel, which 
formerly was hardly large enough to hold them, seemed, as 
the melancholy remnant entered it, to stretch over the tombs 
below, only to show the graves that waited for them. 
' While the abbess lived, the remaining sisters dreamed not 
of the possibility of leaving her : but when they lost her, 
the survivors, then reduced to six, had not courage to watch 
further the work of death within their little circle ; each 
perhaps hoping, yet fearing, to be the last. It was too 
much even for the disciplined spirits of nuns to bear: so 
they disposed of their remaining interest in the island, and 
each retired to such relations and friends as their long seclu- 
sion had left them. 



108 BELGIUM AND 

I heard this history from one who had resided in the con- 
vent during its last sad years ; and though neither old nor 
ugly, it was evident that she did not consider the destruction 
of a convent as a jubilee for its inmates. 

It has been probably with a view of increasing the at- 
tractions of his establishment to foreigners, that the present 
proprietor of Nonnenworth has suffered the monastery to 
remain so nearly in the same state as when inhabited by its 
nuns. The building is very extensive, and in many respects 
extremely handsome. Several noble flights of stairs lead 
from the chambers below to a magnificent corridor, which 
runs round the whole edifice ; and though its vast extent 
receives no light, except from the large high windows at 
each corner, it is rather solemn than dark. A row of low 
doors, very low in proportion to the great height of the gal- 
leries, open on either side ; and mark the cells, which, at 
no very distant period, were the abode of some of the noblest 
ladies in Germany. Many of these remain exactly as they 
were, and make very comfortable sleeping rooms; those 
on one side looking into a large quadrangle, surrounded by 
the venerable cloister, and now laid out as a flower-garden ; 
and those on the other commanding some of the finest views 
on the Rhine. 

As we were led through this echoing gallery to the apart- 
ments destined for us, we passed before a door, which, in- 
stead of being low like the others, was lofty and folding. It 
stood partly open, and the attendant, who preceded us, 
pushed it together, but not so as completely to close it. Be- 
ing a few steps behind my companions, and feeling curious 
to know to what this stately door-way could lead, I put my 
hand upon the heavy lock, pulled it open, and entered ; 
when I was startled to find myself in a wide gallery, which 
overhung the chapel. It was very nearly dark ; and the 
little light left just served to make every object look like 
something it was not. Monumental figures had the air of 
kneeling nuns; and the very altars seemed full of shapeless 
mystery. I quickly retreated and overtook my companions, 
who were passing before another lofty door, which, on be- 
ing opened, discovered an interior staircase ; and beyond it 
still, another high and handsome folding door, leading into 
a very noble saloon. This chamber, and another still grander 



WESTERN GERMANY. 109 

room, that was shown us next day, were formerly used on 
state occasions, when the Elector of Cologne held a court at 
Nonnenvvorth. 

Having signified our approbation of -this apartment, the 
attendant led the way to a ci-devant cell beside it; and 
asked, if that sleeping chamber would please Madame ! No- 
thing could be more comfortable than its appearance. The 
window looked upon Rolandseck, now visible by the moon- 
light ; and after admiring this for a moment, 1 turned to ex- 
amine another window over which a curtain was drawn. On 
removing it, I perceived that the casement it covered was 
open ; and that I again looked dowm upon the gloomy chapel. 
As I do not profess a belief in supernatural visitations, I am 
rather at a loss to account for the sudden distaste I conceived 
for this pretty little cell, as a sleeping apartment. Certain 
it is, however, that I chose another. 

When going over the house on the following morning, I 
asked my conductor to show me the late abbess's room : but 
this, she said, she could not do, as it was occupied by an Eng- 
lish clergyman ; who had been some weeks in the house; 
together with two or three young men, whom she believed 
to be his pupils. She added, that he read English prayers 
in the gallery of the chapel ; and that one or two English 
famihes in the neighbourhood joined his little congregation 
every Sunday. I could not learn his name from her, though 
she tried to recall it ; which I regretted, as I should have 
been happy to have learned who the gentleman was who 
showed so excellent a taste in his choice of a retreat for the 
purposes of study. 

Before leaving the island, we carefully explored every 
part of it. The undertaking was not one of much fatigue; 
'for the extent of this pretty territory does not exceed one 
hundred and sixty acres; but the views from the different 
parts of it are very beautiful. To the north is the ''castled 
crag of Drachenfels," infinitely finer when seen from thence 
than in any other direction. To the east is the opening of 
the wavy valley of the Rhine ; on one of whose sunny 
slopes a brother of Lord Portarlington has made for himself 
a little paradise. To the west stands the melancholy, but 
most picturesque tower of Rolandseck, with the octagon 



110 BELGIUM AND 

columns of its basaltic rock ; and to the south the Rhine 
loses itself among mountains that shut it in like a lake. 

The chief part of the island is occupied by a large wheat- 
field ; but near the house are ample gardens and orchards ; 
and the whole extent of its shores have a growth of under- 
wood, affording innumerable pretty nooks for the sketchers 
or gazers who wish to study, in shade and at ease, the lovely 
scenes that present themselves in all directions. 

At eleven o'clock we took a reluctant leave of this sweet 
and quiet spot; and having hired a little skiff for the pur- 
pose, were towed up the river to Unkel. I had here the plea- 
sure of being introduced to my son's agreeable new friends, 
and found them all he had described. There are some inci- 
dents in life that make a deep impression, more from the 
manner in which they occur than from their real importance. 
Such, perhaps, was the case as to my short, but delightful, 
visit at Unkel. The frank, gentlemanly cordiality of Cap- 
tain ; the bright, glowing animation of his charming 

dark-eyed wife, as she welcomed a countrywoman ; their 
lovely children ; their elegant yet perfectly rustic dwelling, 
with its books and its music, its flowers and its vines ; had 
altogether something so very delightful to the heart and the 
fancy, that, after it was all over, and we had got on board 
the steam-boat for Coblentz — after w^e had seen them wave 
their last adieu from the shore, and finally lost sight of Un- 
kel and them — I could hardly persuade myself that the last 
hour had not been passed in a delightful dream. 

The waking, however, was not so painful as one some- 
times feels it, when obliged to give up all the bright nothings 
of a morning vision : for a sober and certain recollection 
remained of having met a group of just such beings as one 
should like to see the world peopled withal. Nothing tends 
more to put one in good humour with oneself and every- 
thing else, than such an adventure ; and I am certain that 
the bergs and the steins, the fels and the thals, by which 
we flew along on our way to Coblentz, appeared vastly more 
beautiful than they would have done without it. Neverthe- 
less, the river is ** an exulting and abounding river;" and 
dash through it as rapidl}^ as you may, it has beauty which 
will make itself felt. 

The appearance of the flourishing town of Neuwied is 



WESTERN GERMANY. 115 

hieroglyphics. Not a mile, often not half a one, is passed 
without coming upon some object, which, to the very- 
dullest fancy, must suggest ideas of power, of pomp, of strug- 
gle and renown, of danger and of death. The very act of 
building these eagles' nests, on pinnacles which few tame 
animals would venture to climb, speaks a sort of daring 
hardihood, somewhat difficult to be understood in these days 
of peaceful comfort. As to the lonely ladies, of whom chro- 
nicles say that every castie made its boast, they must have 
been drawn up by windlasses; for in no other way, I think, 
could they have ever reached some of the strongholds which 
stand so grimly alone upon the mountain-tops. 

Unfortunately, these interesting remains came thicker and 
faster upon us as the hour of dinner approached : and, when 
we were actually seated at table, notice was given, by such 
as caught a passing glance through the windows, of such 
wondrous congregations of fortified towns, mouldering mo- 
nasteries, and castled crags, that half the company started 
upon their feet, and the other half nearly choked themselves 
in the hope of getting their dinner despatched before all the 
ruins were out of sight. Had the ruthless spirits of the 
barons themselves animated these towers, over which they 
once held cruel sway, even they could hardly have desired 
to produce upon us, by their aspect, more distressing effects. 
The seats of one half the company being fixed to the sides 
of the vessel, those who occupied them had to creep under 
the table everj^^ time a fresh burst of enthusiasm arose. This 
happened no less than three times, during the dinner of this 
day, to a French gentleman, who sat immediately opposite 
to me. Had I or my neighbours been forociously disposed, 
it would have been easy to have "whipped the offending 
Adam out of him,'' for he grovelled in so extraordinary a 
manner among the feet of the company before he could ex- 
tricate himself, that the visual organs he was so anxious to 
indulge ran great risk of being severely damaged, if not 
destroyed for ever. 

Though I had previously decided upon indulging myself 
with another and more tranquil survey of the objects we 
were passing, I at last left the table in utter despair of being 
permitted to sit at it with any degree of comfort, and went 
upon deck, not so much for the sake of seeing what was in- 



116 BELGIUM AND 

deed very beautiful, as to escape suffering from the fitful 
fever of my opposite neighbour, who ceased not to crawl 
forth when castles came ; yet, whenever we passed a few 
yards without one, never failed to return, with renewed 
appetite, to his chicken-bones and Moselle. 

Those who choose to see the Rhine from a steamboat, 
should decidedly make up their minds not to eat dinners 
between Cologne and Mayence; or, if this exceed their 
power, they should content themselves with eating, like my 
fair bride, with their plate upon their knees, without quitting 
the deck; and so placed as to enable them to look on either 
side with as little dislocation of the neck as possible. 

It must not be thought, however, that because I some- 
times withdrew my eyes from the landscape to look at my 
neighbours I was insensible to the great beauty, nay, sub- 
limity, of the scenery between Coblentz and Mayence. This 
part of the river is by far the most beautiful; and there are 
some points which rather exceeded than fell short of the ex- 
pectations I had formed. 

While remarking the inconvenience which a too rapid 
mode of travelling through scenes so beautiful occasions, I 
remembered that nearly all I had seen of the Hudson was 
while running up and down it in a steamboat : — and, though 
the movement was at least as rapid, or even more so, I could 
not recall anything like the same vexation from the circum- 
stance. The reason of this, certainly, is not that the Hud- 
son is less beautiful ; — on the contrary, I think the scenery 
near West Point, and, generally speaking, the whole of that 
portion called the Highlands, decidedly superior to any part 
of the Rhine : but it arises from the infinite variety of in- 
terest which the combinations of history and romance throw 
over every inch of the European stream. 

I well remember that I thought we passed too quickly by 
the tree under which poor Andre was made prisoner ; and 
that I gazed upon the spot till I could see it no longer. But 
when this was over, the banks of the Hudson had nothing 
but their own loveliness to fill the mind ; and though this 
be much, the spirit enjoys it more tranquilly than when a 
thousand associations rouse up as m.any different springs of 
feeling in the heart. 

Before reaching Mayence the banks of the river become 



WESTERN GERMANY. ' 117 

comparatively tame ; soon after Bingen the rocks close alto- 
gether ; and hanging slopes, covered with vineyards, take 
their place. The far-famed hill of Johannisberg, with the 
mansion of Prince Metternich on its summit, is seen rising 
in terraces from the plain which skirts the water's edge, rich 
in its precious growth of unequalled wine. 

The almost unvaried continuance of the vineyards is cer- 
tainly a great defect in the scenery of the Rhine ; but here 
again association helps to make us regard with pleasure what 
is neither beautiful nor sublime. For who can look upon 
the promise of so much wealth and enjoyment, and wish it 
other than it is? The delicious Stein wine is cause of least 
offence in this respect; for the grape from which it is made 
grows almost from the fissures of the rocks, and in little 
patches of such wild irregularity, as rather to increase than 
diminish the charm of the prospect. 

Bieberich, the magnificent palace of the Duke of Nassau, 
is a splendid ornament to the scenery on the eastern bank, 
a few miles below Mayence ; and the fortresses of Castel 
and Kostheim, with the bridge of boats, and the picturesque 
towers of the cathedral, all contribute to make the approach 
to the city, by water, a scene of great beauty and interest. 



118 BELGIUM AND 



CHAPTER IX. 

Mayence — Cathedral — Francfort — Theatre — Catliedral — St. Catharine's 
— Cemetery — Jewish Synagogue — Luther— Hesse-Homboarg. 

Mayence is another very interesting old city, as I think 
everybody must allow ; but I believe the report of its claims 
to beauty will depend greatly upon the temper of the travel- 
ler, according to the principle laid down in Franklin's story 
of the man with one handsome and one ugly leg. The good- 
tempered traveller will remember its handsomest streets and 
public buildings, its beautiful gardens, and the picturesque 
effect of its multitude of Asiatic-looking domes and mina- 
rets ; but the cross and melancholy traveller will not easily 
forget its narrower streets, its dirty pavement, or its villa- 
nous smells. Its beautiful situation, however, none can fail 
to acknowledge ; and it has the great advantage of being 
situated within easy reach of many places of first-rate at- 
traction. Francfort, Wiesbaden, Ingleheim, and all the 
beauties of the lovely Rhingau, are within a morning's ride 
of Mayence. 

This city is one of those which severally claim the glory 
of having witnessed the invention of printing within their 
walls ; and it stoutiy vindicates its pretensions, in spite of 
all that Strasburg or Haarlem can adduce to the contrary. — 
The house where Gutenberg first used his moveable types, 
is shown as one of the proudest boasts of the city. 

The cathedral is large and splendid, but by no means beau- 
tiful. It has, in fact, been so battered and bruised by the 
eternal wars of which Mayence has been the victim, that it 
is now little more than a vast and costly mass of reparations. 
The monuments, which have been wonderfully preserved, 
are highly curious : — that of Fastrada, one of the wives of 
Charlemagne, bearing date 794, and another of the old trou- 
badour Frauenlob, 1218, cannot be seen with indifference. 

Archbishops and Electors lie here in great magnificence. 
Among the latter are some who assisted at the coronation of 



WESTERN GERMANY. 119 

more than one Emperor ; — a piece of good fortune quaintly 
commemorated on their tombs. There is one monument of 
great antiquity, on which the effigies of the entombed Elec- 
tor is represented as putting crowns pn the brows of two 
imperial personages, whose figures kneeling before him seem 
to knock their heads together in order to place them con- 
veniently for receiving the symbols of empire. 

There are two high altars in this church ; one at the east, 
the other at the west end : the same thing, I am told, is to 
be seen at Spires and at Worms, but nowhere else. The 
effect is very strange. The font of bronze, of the year 
1325, is superb ; and the brass doors, which open from the 
market-place, and which are of a still earlier date, are wonder- 
fully ingenious and elaborate. 

But the object which pleased me most, in this strange col- 
lection of old and new curiosities, was a fine antique head of 
Jupiter, m white marble. It is placed beneath a monument 
fixed in a wall, at the north-east corner of the church, near 
the door which leads out to the cloisters ; but how it came 
there we could by no means learn. The head is set between 
wings ; the finish of these, the graceful flow of the beard, 
with the noble expression of the imperial countenance, are 
all admirable. 

Mayence is garrisoned by Prussians and Austrians ; — I 
believe, in equal numbers. It is considered as one of the 
most important fortresses of the Germanic Confederation. 
The civil department belongs to the duchy of Hesse Darm- 
stadt ; and a few soldiers of that state are seen mixed among 
the Austrians and Prussians, who do the military duties of 
the garrison. 

On the following day we started for Francfort by the di- 
ligence, and were nearly four hours on the road. We pass- 
ed by the little village of Hockheim, and looked with great 
respect towards the vineyards which we were told produced 
the genuine Hockheimer. 

On our way we saw^ a village funeral, and it appeared as 
though the whole of the rustic population had left their la- 
bour, to do honour to the dead ; for above two hundred pea- 
sants followed the corpse. The females walked first, all 
dressed in decent black gowns and white hoods ; the men 
following in their ordinary Sunday attire. 



120 BELGIUM AND 

Almost as soon as you enter Francfort, you become aware 
of its neatness, its beauty, its venerable antiquity, and its 
modern splendour. Francfort has no " ugly leg" to remark 
upon, and the most splenetic traveller must, I think, allow 
himself to be pleased by the numerous agremens it has to 
offer. 

We fixed ourselves in the Hotel de Paris, where we found 
excellent accommodation ; and, after a breakfast a la four- 
chette, set forth to perambulate the town. However impa- 
tient we felt to see the streets and examine the buildings, it 
was quite impossible to resist the trees and flowers which 
drew us aside, ere we had proceeded a hundred yards, into 
the beautiful public garden that entirely surrounds the city. 
The beauty, salubrity, and luxury of this arrangement, can- 
not be fully appreciated without visiting this delightful 
place. I never saw such a profusion o^ flowers, and flower- 
ing shrubs, in any other garden ; and the manner in which 
the walks are planned, sometimes running through narrow 
and shady alleys, and sometimes opening into broad and 
handsome promenades, leaves nothing to be wished for. 

It was not without difficulty that I was at last persuaded 
to turn from this beautiful garden towards the streets of the 
town ; — nor did 1 leave it till I had walked for nearly a 
mile through roses, carnations, lilies, honeysuckles, and 
everything, else of the sweetest and best which a garden can 
present. 

Why is it impossible to teach my dear countrymen and 
countrywomen that flowers may be enjoyed without the as- 
sistance of the. fingers ? Had the gardens of Francfort been 
inclosed by a wall as high as that of Babylon, the preserva- 
tion of the flowers could not have been more perfect : — yet 
groups of children were playing in every direction, and 
the benches were occupied by people of all degrees. It 
must, however, be confessed, that at Francfort, this expres- 
sion includes nothing either disorderly or sordid — at least I 
saw no such persons. 

Having at length re-entered the town, we wandered on 
through handsome streets and noble squares, till I was too 
tired to do more than return, by the shortest cut we could 
find, to our hotel. 

We had previously decided upon passing our evening at 



WESTERN GERMANY. 121 

the theatre, and found it necessary to hurry through our din- 
ner, as the performance was to begin at six. Mrs. K., the 
lady of the British consul, had obligingly oflfered us places 
in her box. 

The first impression on entering the Francfort theatre is 
made by the extreme plainness of the house. 1 never saw 
any so little ornamented, and it can hardly be doubted that 
a little more decoration would be an improvement. 

The play was "The Brothers," — a very close translation 
of "The Woman never Vexed." The acting was excel- 
lent ; and, in spite of our imperfect German, we had no dif- 
ficulty in following the fable throughout. 

Though, I fear, it would be impossible for us, or, perhaps, 
any other people than Germans, to follow the example, I 
must still say a few words upon some peculiarities of the 
Francfort theatre ; as it is, in my judgment, more complete- 
ly what a place of this kind ought to be, than any I ever 
saw or heard of. The absence of ornament in the part oc- 
cupied by the audience, is its only defect, and is, perhaps, 
of no great importance ; nay, it probably adds to the splen- 
did efiect of the scene. But the first indisputable excellence 
I shall mention, is its size. A more just medium could 
hardly be imagined, between the vastness which obliges the 
performer to distort, if I may so express it, both features 
and voice, and the diminutiveness, which would not permit 
even full houses to furnish funds sufficient to supply the ex- 
penses of a first-rate performance. Its next advantage con- 
sists in giving one piece only : — the entertainment continues 
just long enough to amuse without fatiguing. But the last, 
and infinitely the greatest excellence, consists in the manners 
of the audience, in which there is such an entire absence of 
every species of indecorum, as to render the theatre as safe 
as the drawing-room. The consequence is, that females of 
all ranks enter it, with as much modest, unembarrassed free- 
dom, as they would their homes ; and they are equally se- 
cure there from insult or alarm as they would be at home. 

Nearly all the boxes are let by the year; and the ladies 
enter them alone, without fuss or parade of any kind. I 
saw several ladies (who, as I happened to know, had come 
there in their carriages) take otf their bonnets, and hang 
them on the pins with which the back of every box is fur- 

16 



122 BELGIUM AND 

nished, with a degree of unembarrassed ease and comfort 
which was quite delightful. 

The evening parties take place after the play or opera; 
and as the dinner hour is generally early, the performances 
interfere with nothing. In a word, the theatre of Francfort 
is so arranged, as to add a great intellectual pleasure to life, 
without any one drawback whatsoever. 

The following day was Sunday. We first attended mass 
in the Catholic cathedral, and the Lutheran service after- 
wards in the new oval church of St. Paul's. In the after- 
noon we heard another Lutheran service performed at St. 
Catherine's. The Catholic cathedral is said to be the latest 
specimen of genuine old German architecture ; it was com- 
pleted in 1509 ; and is built in the form of a cross. It has 
little beauty of any kind to recommend it; but as it has been 
neither injured nor embellished by any alterations, it forms 
an interesting specimen. The machinery of a huge clock, 
curious from the extreme complexity of its movements, is 
shown among other " lions" of the edifice. No stately mo- 
numents of Archbishops and Electors are to be seen here, but 
there are tombs of Burgomasters innumerable. There are, 
moreover, some Knights Templars buried in this cathedral, 
whose martial trophies adorn the walls with very picturesque 
effect. The chancel, which is very large, was most com- 
pletely crowded in every part. One priest alone officiated 
at the altar, and he had not the tonsure: — we counted thir- 
teen at the celebration of high mass at Cologne. This differ- 
ence is very remarkable, and would seem to indicate that the 
wealth, which flows so liberally into Francfort, does not 
find its way into the hands of the Catholics. The congrega- 
tion consisted evidently of the lower classes; and the crowd 
which filled the aisles so closely, as to render it impossible 
to pass through them, had chiefly the air of peasants of the 
neighbourhood. The female head-dress among them was 
extremely neat and pretty; particularly for matrons. It con- 
sisted of a small silk cap, generally black, with a ribbon 
bound over the neatly braided hair, and hanging in long 
bows and streamers behind. But I thought it less becoming 
to the young; as it concealed too much of the luxuriant hair, 
which is so beautiful a feature in German girls. 

The new Lutheran church is a magnificent temple. It is 



WESTERN GERMANY. 123 

an immense oval, with a vaulted roof of great height and 
boldness. Three light and elegant galleries run round the 
lofty walls. The lowest of these is supported by twenty 
noble pillars of marble. This church, aPso, was completely 
full, and offered a most brilliant coup-d^oeil; the ladies filling 
the entire floor, and the gentlemen the galleries, or the space 
immediately under them. Of the multitude who filled this 
vast church, there was not a single individual who was not 
perfectly well-dressed. It was decidedly the most elegant- 
looking assembly I ever saw in a church. That at the Ca- 
tholic cathedral at Baltimore approached the nearest to it; 
but the company there vvas neither so numerous nor so well 
displayed. This beautiful edifice was just completed; and I 
thought it a piece of good fortune not to have arrived till it 
was so. 

The old church of St. Catherine's, founded by a Knight 
Templar, is well worth visiting. It is now Lutheran ; and 
we there heard one of those glorious universal hymns, 
which, when they rise from a congregation of German 
voices, produce an effect so indescribably solemn and affect- 
ing, as never to be forgotten. 

This reformed old church looks as if it had resigned the 
ancient faith reluctantly, at least as to outward appearance; 
for the symbols of Catholicism are still visible in every part 
of it. Pictures, crosses, and carved representations of the 
Passion abound. The only conspicuous change is at the 
altar, from which the ark for the elements of the Eucharist, 
and the great candlesticks, have been removed, and the 
whole covered with plain velvet. It has a fine altar-piece by 
Boos. The walls of this church are literally covered from 
top to bottom with monuments. 
' In the evening we went to the Opera, and were again 

kindly admitted to Mrs. K 's box. The performance 

was the Bestalin of Spontini. It is a delightful opera, and 
was most gloriously performed. The chorusses have an 
effect, at least when performed by Germans, which I am at a 
loss how to describe: — they are sounds of feeling, of passion, 
and of eloquence. The indignation I have experienced from 
seeing the plays of Shakspeare turned into operas, would 
have been spared, I think, had I heard them performed 



124 BELGIUM AND 

here. Never was music so lawfully " married to immortal 
verse" as in this country. 

Mademoiselle Gned, who played the part of Julia, has a 
voice of great power; but as yet it seems almost more than 
she can manage. She has great merit also as an actress, and 
showed much animation and feeling; — but she should study 
the perfect harmony of Pasta's movements. It is no trifling 
addition to the pleasure of an opera, when we can say of the 
prima donna — 

''Where'er she turns, the Graces homage pay ;" 

and, as a lady's raised arms must either "float upon the air," 
or pierce through it, it is well w^orth some study to acquire 
the power of choosing which it shall be. Mademoiselle 
Gned is, however, a young actress of great promise, and two 
or three 57ears will probably bring her into general notice. 

How delightful it is to come away from such an entertain- 
ment as this with the spirits perfectly fresh and unwearied ! 
Instead of dragging to bed, with the head aching, the heart 
asleep, and the imagination utterly extinguished, w^e leave 
the theatres of Germany exactly in a state to feel, or fancy, 
ourselves above all mortal cares and discomforts; and, I 
think, the evening parties which succeed them must see the 
very best of our social faculties in activity. • 

I had the pleasure, on this evening, of being introduced 
to Madame Goethe, the daughter-in-law of the immortal poet 
and philosopher. She is a lady of very pleasing manners, 
and has an air of great intelligence and animation; she speaks 
English of the most perfect purity and elegance. It seemed 
to me no small privilege to hold converse with a person 
bearing a name so illustrious. 

After the opera we went to the public gardens near the 
river ; we were told that they had been extremely full, but 
the company were then departing rapidly. The orchestra, 
chiefly of wind instruments, performed some pieces of Mo- 
zart very beautifully; but, as about two men out of every 
three we met (let the companion beside each be as lovely as 
she might) were armed w^ith that instrument of torture a 
tobacco-pipe, these gardens, when most brilliantly filled, 
could not be agreeable to me. Happily, smoking is not 
allowed in theatres or drawing-rooms; and as long as this 



WESTERN GERMANY. 125 

continues to be the case, it is very possible, by a little skill 
and good management, to confine one's sufferings from this 
source, to sorrow arising from the sight of so glaring a defect, 
in a people so admirable in other respects. 

I was surprised at being told, in answer to an inquiry on 
the subject, which I addressed to a Protestant, that the Cal- 
vinists and Lutherans frequent the Sunday opera, quite as 
much as any other people. The only difference, indeed, 
which I perceived at Francfort, from towns entirely Catho- 
lic, was, that no shops were open on a Sunday; and this I 
was assured arose from no religious restraint, but solely from 
such a degree of ease in the general circumstances of the 
citizens, as rendered attention to business on the seventh 
day quite unnecessary. The same reason causes all the shops 
in the town to be closed at seven o'clock every evening, as 
no one will suffer business to interfere with his hours of 
recreation. 

There certainly is, however, something very remarkable 
in the religious aspect of Francfort. I believe there is no 
denomination of Christians, which cannot be found there ; 
each of them having one or more places of worship. These 
are uniformly filled twice every Sunday with devout and 
observant congregations. But, at about six o'clock, every 
church and chapel is closed ; and from that hour, there is 
scarcely an individual to be found who is not actively en- 
gaged in the pursuit of pleasure. Catholic and Protestant, 
Calvinist and Lutheran, all join in the universal jubilee. The 
wide circuit of the public walks is gaily filled in every part; 
the theatre overflows ; the cafes and guinguettes are thronged ; 
and I was assured that dancing, music, and feasting, are uni- 
versally, and equally, enjoyed by all sects and denomina- 
tions throughout the city. 

It should seem from this, that the lawgivers of this Fries- 
tadt act much upon the same principles as did our first King 
Charles, of pious memory, and his martyred Protestant 
Archbishop Laud, when they put forth ^^The Book of Sport ;" 
which not only legalized, but enjoined diversions for the 
people on the Sunday. 

Another circumstance, which is remarkable, when viewed 
together with this manner of passing the Christian Sabbath, 
is, that on Friday evenings, after the Jewish Sabbath has 



126 BELGIUM AND 

begun, the theatre is always closed. Why this is thought 
necessary no one could tell me ; though all allowed that it was 
done " because it was the Jews' Sabbath." At the same 
hour on Saturday, when this rigid Jewish observance ends, 
Jews and Christians are again permitted to amuse them- 
selves. The proportion of Jews to Protestant Christians, is 
stated to be about one to ten. 

Whether anything like poverty, or real want, is to be 
found at Francfort, I know not ; but certainly nothing ap- 
proaching it ever meets the eye ; nor did I ever see any 
place so perfectly well ordered, and free from nuisances of 
all kinds. 

1 had a great deal of conversation on the politics of this 
fair and free city, with a gentleman who has long resided 
there. He told me, that no people could be better satisfied 
with the laws that governed them, than the citizens of Franc- 
fort ; and stated, as a proof of it, their having witnessed, 
with so much approbation, the arrival of Prussian and Aus- 
trian troops, when some political disturbances appeared to 
threaten the stability of their institutions. He spoke with 
great indignation of the injustice of foreign newspapers, and 
particularly of the English, for representing the riotous 
frolic of a few noisy young men, as affording indications of 
a general revolutionary spirit. 

I will transcribe his words, as I find them in my notes, 
having set them down immediately after the conversation 
took place. 

'' C'etait une bonne plaisanterie de voir courir de journal en 
journal Pefirayante annonced'une mouvementrevolutionnaire 
a Francfort. — ^Voulez-vous savoir, Madame, I'histoire de cette 
emeute redoubtable ? Cela ne vous prendra pas long tems, 
car la revolution etait terminee precisement trois heures et 
demi apres sa commencement. C'etait assez pour remplir 
les journaux, efirayer les honnetes gens, et faire chanter les 
vauriens. Cependant, tout cela n'etait qu'un fracas dans la 
rue." 

We had the pleasure of dining with the British Minister: 
the party was quite a small one, and I had reason to feel par- 
ticularly gratified, by the invitation being sent as soon as my 
card was received, for we were so much birds of passage, 
that I must otherwise have lost the pleasure of making the 



WESTERN GERMANY. 127 

acquaintance of one of the most charming women I ever 
met. Lady C, who is of a German family of high rank, 
has the appearance, though she has been some years married, 
of extreme youth ; and her graceful animated m.anner is that 
of a young person highly born, and highly educated, full of 
intelligence and information, but simple and unaffected to 
perfection. Another charm, which greatly increased my 
pleasure in conversing with her, was the peculiar and chosen 
elegance of her English. 

She took us a delightful drive to a pretty woodland scene 
near the town; where, in seasons of peculiar gaity, and par- 
ticularly at Easter, the population of Francfort resort, to 
amuse themselves by smoking, drinking, and dancing in the 
shade. The heau raondt on these occasions make it their 
fashionable drive, and often leave their carriages, to mix 
with the joyous crowd. 

The banks of the Maine have no very noble features here ; 
but they are thickly studded with pretty villas, belonging 
to the wealthy merchants ; and the whole neighbourhood 
has an air of affluence and comfort. I was amused by the 
mode of towing vessels up the stream : the horses employed 
to perform this service are ridden into the middle of the 
river, where they proceed to draw the flat-bottomed craft 
after them ; sometimes, as it appeared to me, at the risk of 
drowning both horse and rider. 

The public gallery of pictures and casts is a delightful 
lounge. This institution owes its origin to a splendid be- 
quest from a citizen of the name of Stadel ; and the collec- 
tion has been since greatly augmented at the expense of the 
town. The building, prepared to receive it, is so elegantly 
decorated, that it is itself a beautiful exhibition ; and the 
'only fault, if fault it may be called, is, that the beauty of the 
rooms divides the attention of the spectator, and withdraws 
the eye too much from the objects they contain. This mu- 
seum has some very valuable old Flemish pictures, many 
curious original drawings, and a fine collection of casts from 
the antique. The picture that pleased me best was the por- 
trait of a burgomaster, by Matsys, bearing date 1482. The 
finish and life of the head are wonderful. There is also, by 
Rubens, a child amusing herself with some toy. She is 
dressed in all the quaint stiffness of Flemish hon ion, but 



128 BELGIUM AND 

certainly looks as nearly alive as it is possible for canvass 
to do. 

It vvas not till our second visit to this city, on our return 
from Baden, that I saw its magnificent Burial-Ground. I 
mention it, however, here, as well as some other objects ex- 
amined at the same time, that I may not write a chapter 
upon Francfort with such very glaring omissions. 

The British Consul, Mr. K , who has been a most 

active and efficient patron of this noble undertaking, had 
the kindness to show me the plans, and to explain the nature 
of the establishment, which greatly increased the interest I 
felt in seeing it. 

If my eye does not greatly deceive me, the new Ceme- 
tery of London is very much larger than that of Francfort; 
but their relative forms are so different, that it is very possi- 
ble I may be mistaken, at least, as to the degree of their dif- 
ference in size. Like every other public work of Francfort, 
its Cemetery is planned upon a noble scale, and handsomely 
executed ; and there are some regulations, which have been 
enacted respecting the interments in it, which I should re- 
joice to see adopted with us. But, as I have not the docu- 
ments before me, I am unwilling to enter too minutely into 
detail respecting them, from the fear of inaccuracy. The 
leading principle being, however, as simple as it is admira- 
ble, I may state it without any danger of blundering. 

Either the company, by whom this noble work has been 
projected, or the constituted authorities of the city, (it mat- 
ters not which,) have taken upon themselves the entire charge 
of all interments, and the regulation of all the melancholy 
business connected with the performance of the last offices 
for the dead. When a citizen expires, notice is given by 
the family in the proper quarter : — from that moment, every 
attendance becomes a public instead of a private duty ; and 
all is performed with that undeviating propriety and exacti- 
tude, which can be insured only by the systematic operation 
of the law. The body is immediately removed to a build- 
ing erected within the gates of the cemetery, where it is 
watched in such a manner, that the slightest indication of 
returning animation could be instantly perceived ; — and, 
should such a circumstance occur, every contrivance that 
science has discovered, or art imagined, to assist resuscitation. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 129 

is at hand to foster it. In a house, also within the gates of the 
cemetery, a physician resides to direct the application of the 
means employed, and to watch their result. The interment 
which follows, when every hope of the return of life has 
passed, is performed with all the reverence and solemnity 
which the feelings of the surviving friends can desire ; — and 
the expense is fixed at a sum never exceeding five pounds 
sterling, but often falling below it. Not only does this ad- 
mirable regulation insure to all the solemn performance of 
a sacred rite, but the last clinging tenderness of human love 
to the object it has lost is not made, as elsewhere, to watch, 
with sickening agony, the hideous approach of the moment 
that is to part them for ever — nor is it permitted to drain 
the purse of the poor reckless mourner, who, at such a mo- 
ment, will rather forget his duty to the living, than omit 
even the shadow of respect for the dead. I doubt whether 
the costliest ceremonial that ever was devised, for the inter- 
ment of the most honoured relics, could produce an effect of 
so much solemn dignity, as this civic care for the dead. 

The vaults in which the bodies are deposited, as well as 
the monuments erected over them, are private property; and 
they are as simple, or as superb, as individual wealth and 
taste can dictate. The enclosure is already adorned by many 
handsome tombs. One splendid mausoleum, belonging to 
the family of Bethman, has some very beautiful Italian 
sculpture, commemorating the loss of a son, who died at 
Rome. 

Close to this Christian burying-ground is another large 
area, which has recently been enclosed as a cemetery for the 
Jews. I did not enter it, but the gateway appeared ex- 
tremely handsome. 

• There are so many beautiful and interesting things to be 
seen at Francfort, that it is very difficult to enumerate them 
all. — It is a positive embarras de richesses ; but it would 
be treason to good taste not to mention the beautiful statue 
of Ariadne, in the museum of Mr. Bethman. It is said to 
be the chef-d^ oeuvre of Dennecker, and it is a figure of in- 
conceivable attraction and loveliness. There is, perhaps, 
rather too much trick in the manner in which it is exhibited ; 
!r— the light being thrown upon it through a screen of rose- 
coloured silk : — and yet it is quarrelling with part of one's 

17 



130 BELGIUM AND 

pleasure to find fault with this, for it certainly gives a tint 
of life that increases the beauty. Still, I remembered, as I 
looked at it, the severe simplicity of the little cabinet con- 
taining Somariva's matchless Magdalen, by Canova, and 
could not but allow that the purer taste was there. 

As I had never chanced to enter a Jewish synagogue, I 
thought I could find no place more favourable for the gratifi- 
cation of the curiosity I felt respecting such an assembly than 
Francfort. We therefore agreed to join some pleasant 
friends, who were staying at the Hotel de Russie, and to 
proceed together, at six o'clock on a Friday afternoon, to 
witness the ceremonies, of which I had heard so much, and 
knew so little. To describe the place we entered would 
be very difficult. There was a varie?ty and confusion of ob- 
jects, perfectly defying detail. The building is by no means 
large, but very lofty. What first strikes the eye, on enter- 
ing, is the immense multitude of lights — innumerable gilt 
chandeliers, each one with innumerable branches, were sus- 
pended from the roof by richly-wrought iron chains. There 
was no corner of the building without them : besides these, 
sconces are thrust into every cranny that can be found to hold 
them ; and enormous candlesticks, exactly in the form in which 
we see them represented in old Bible engravings, are placed 
upon the altar. In the midst of the temple is a large, heavy, 
square elevation, capable of containing about a dozen persons, 
which was also surrounded on all sides with enormous can- 
dlesticks. This illuminated tribune was approached by two 
flights of steps ; and contained seats on three sides of it ; 
the Book of the Law opened upon a desk on the fourth ; 
but no one approached these seats, apparently so distin- 
guished, except some little boys, who amused themselves by 
running up and down the steps incessantly. In the midst of 
the ceremonies, a man mounted this tribune, and chanted a 
few sentences from the open volume. The ladies of our party 
were shown into an open gallery, but the gentlemen remained 
below, and obtained seats very near the altar. The gallery 
had glass windows, which we easily opened, and looked down 
upon the blaze of light below. 

The first ceremony we witnessed was ths^t of a man's 
changing his round hat for a flat cap. This done, he twisted 
a white blanket, edged with blue, around him, and chanted ^ 



WESTERN GERMANY. 131 

from a large volume, in a most inconceivable variety of 
tones; bowing his head as he did so, almost incessantly. 

At intervals the congregation burst forth into a response: — 
so loud, so wild, so startling, as almost ^to cause an emotion 
of terror. 

This response varied in tone, from something approaching 
a shrill cry to a plaintive wail, the dying cadence of which 
was occasionally very sweet. The ladies who sat near us 
in the galleries sometimes appeared earnestly engaged in 
their devotional exercises; bowing continually and uttering 
a low chant; and sometimes they chatted together with per- 
fect ease, without even affecting to whisper. Several times 
during the service, the blanket was laid aside by one and 
taken by another; and once by a lad, apparently about four- 
teen, who retained his little casquette on his head while he 
read, or rather chanted, some portion of the Scriptures, which 
lay upon the altar. There is one feature, so peculiar and so 
prominent, that I cannot avoid mentioning it; this is the un- 
cleansed state of the building. If I might make such a dis- 
tinction, I should say that it was not dirty; I mean that no 
objects of accidental disgust contributed to its extraordinary 
condition: but it seemed as if the dust of the temple were 
held sacred; for there is no part of the building, walls, ceiling, 
floor, steps, nor any object within it, that is not covered, nay, 
loaded, with a mass of heavy, accumulated, long-settled dust. 
The vast number of handsome gilt chandeliers and candle- 
sticks would have a splendid appearance, were they not thus 
veiled in this universal drapery of black, stifling dust and 
cobweb. 

I was disappointed at hearing no music, — for certainly 
none of the sounds I heard deserve the name — and 1 had en- 
tered with ideas of Hebrew melodies floating in my fancy. I 
asked a lady near me, if music made no part of their service, 
and I almost expected she wouid answer — " As for our harps, 
we have hung them up upon the trees;" but she only replied, 
" Quelquefois nous avons encore des meilleures voix." 

I must by no means forget to mention the very courteous 
civility which was shown to us by every one we approached. 
Each lady, as she entered the gallery, smiled and bowed to 
us, as if we had been her especial guests; and the gentlemen 
told us they were treated with the same politeness below. 



132 BELGIUM AND 

Baron Rothschild was present there ; and I afterwards learnt 
from a gentleman of the city, who knew him well, that his 
religious observances were peculiarly severe. He said, that, 
at particular seasons, long fastings were enjoined in the sy- 
nagogue; and that, on these occasions, this gentleman had 
been known to remain in the temple for eighteen hours to- 
gether, and had more than once been carried home in a state 
of complete exhaustion. 

We obtained permission to see the Baron's pretty villa, 
which is about a mile from the town ; — or rather the gardens 
belonging to it, for the house is not shown. These gardens 
are not at all superb; but they are nicely kept, and show an 
abundance of fine flowers. As we approached the entrance, 
we met a very gentleman-like looking personage leaving the 
gates in a handsome carriage; and our coachman informed 
us, this was the Baron's Master of the Horse. 

At our second visit, we again passed^ a Sunday at Franc- 
fort, and once more visited the beautiful new church. I 
thought, as I looked at its majestic simplicity of style, and 
listened to the glorious hymn ringing round its dome, that 
Luther himself might look down upon it with complacency^ 
This great reformer's name is still spoken of among the 
people, as freshl}^ as if the benefits he had conferred on them 
were of yesterday. 

'^ Luther was a greater man than Napoleon," said a citizen 
of Francfort, who sat by me at the table d'h6te, '' and his 
new rule will be longer felt than the famous code of the other 
though that was worth something too." 

I heard another German remark, that, in travelling through 
the country, he would undertake to tell, on entering a village, 
whether it w^ere Protestant or Catholic. " The Protestants," 
said he, «' are always better o^— they have not so many fetes 
and festivals to make them idle." 

We enjoyed another Sunday opera on our return, and on 
this occasion were so fortunate as to hear Madame Fischer 
Achten. She is by far the most accomplished singer I have 
heard in this country. The performance was Sargino, by 
Paer, and much of the music is delightful. I hope to hear 
Madame Fischer again at the Haymarket. 

Among the many proofs of obliging hospitality afforded to 
strangers, is that of admission to the Cassino. A stranger's 



WESTERN GERMANY. 133 

ticket is easily obtained; and the bearer of it has the full pri- 
vileges of a subscriber for one month. I availed myself of 
the permission granted me to walk into the reading-rooms, 
which are very commodious, and well furnished with books, 
pamphlets, &c. The large table was covered with a polyglot 
collection of newspapers. In casting my eyes upon a French 
one amongst them, I was amused by the following literal 
translation of a modern political phrase: — "11 y a tout lieu 
de croire que le Roi dWngleterre refusera la demission des 
Ptlinistres, et consentira a une fournee de pairs." 

Before leaving Francfort, I took the liberty of requesting 
permission to wait upon her Royal Highness the Landgra- 
vine of Hesse Hombourg, which was most kindly granted. 
Her Highnesses beautiful residence is about two hours' drive 
from the city; and, even if it had not the interest of being the 
abode of a Princess of England, it well deserves to be visited. 
The town of Francfort is situated on a plain, the extent 
of which, at least in the direction of Hombourg, almost marks 
its territory ; for, after passing by one of the old towers, 
which stand like sentinels round its limits, the country gra- 
dually rises ; and the town of Hombourg is situated on a 
beautiful elevation, which seems to rise on purpose to look 
out upon the noble line of the Taunus hills, and down upon 
the lovely valley which stretches towards them. 

The residence of our amiable Princess is just what a loyal 
English subject would wish to see it; — noble in style and di- 
mension, beautiful as to its site and the country which sur- 
rounds it, and adorned throughout with that exquisite finish 
of perfect comfort, which perhaps only an English princess 
would require, and which certainly no other could so well 
succeed in bringing about her. 

' The Princess had returned only a few days before from 
Hanover, and spoke with great enthusiasm of the beauty of 
the scenery through which she had travelled. *' I can never 
forget Windsor and Richmond," said her Royal Highness, 
"but Germany is a glorious country !" With the condescend- 
ing good-humour for which she has always been distin- 
guished, she herself led us through the noble suite of rooms 
that look towards the richly-wooded ridge of the Taunus 
hills, or mountains, as we should certainly call them in Eng- 
land. The view from these rooms is superb. 



134 BELGIUM AND 

The road leading to the castle, though very steep, had not 
prepared me for the bold declivity on the other side, over 
which this range of apartments looks. The gardens of the 
palace lie at his feet, and the whole scene is one of great 
beauty and magnificence. ' It was with true English spirit 
that her Royal Highness showed us her noble library. <' I 
brought these volumes from England with me," she said; 
adding, with a smile, '^ I am proud of my library" — and she 
might well be so, for not only does it contain a very large 
and excellent collection of books, but everything in the 
room announces it to be the favourite retreat of a person of 
literary habits and refined taste. It is the only room, that I 
saw in Germany, at all in the same style. There are many 
in which books are found in abundance, but I saw none so 
calculated for the elegant indulgence of literary leisure. Yet 
it appeared that all the hours of reading were not spent here, 
for I think there was scarcely one of the apartments, in the 
fine suite which we saw, that had not books in it by some 
contrivance or other. Sometimes there was an elegant little 
table with a row of volumes forming the back of it— some- 
times a small portable case, just large enough to contain a 
set of miniature favourites; and in one room, filled w^ilh all 
kinds of pretty things, the whole space below the hangings 
is lined with a wainscoting of books. 

In many of the rooms are portraits, some of them very 
fine ones, of the Royal Family of England. I stopped be- 
fore one of George the Third, being struck by the powerful 
likeness: "You know that portrait.''" said the Princess; '^it 
is my father— it is quite perfect." 

After this gratifying visit, we drove to a hotel at Hom- 
bourg, where we ordered dinner; and, both before and after 
this repast, amused ourselves by exploring the beautiful 
environs of the town. 

As the gentlemen were disposed after dinner to take a 
longer walk up the hills than I liked to venture upon, I 
returned alone to the hotel, scribbled in my note-book, and 
took coffee while they proceeded. I will therefore give my 
son's account of this walk, as being much more satisfactory 
than my own. 

" A road, as straight as the flight of an arrow, leads from 
Hombourg to the top of one of the Taunus range, and the 



WESTERN GERMANY, 135 

view from this point is very fine, looking over the whole of 
the Francfort plain, or valley of the Maine, to where the 
hills of the Black Forest close it in on the opposite side. 
The greatest part of the Taunus is lime; with large and fre- 
quent veins of quartz, sometimes very white and pure, and 
sometimes containing iron. The summits are a chaos of 
broken rocks, without any soil between them; some of the 
blocks are of an enormous size, and it can hardly be doubted 
that the state in which they lie is the consequence of some 
violent commotion of the earth. If I might be allowed a 
theory, I would say that, at the time the volcanic matter at 
the Siebengeberg, Rolandseck, and Unkel burst through the 
slate stratum, these rocks were dashed by the same convul- 
sion into the fragments which we here find scattered around 
in all directions. The dip of the slate stratum, always from 
north to south, certainly seems to favour this wild hypo- 
thesis. 

'' I would advise every one who visits Francfort to spend 
a day or two, — a week would not be too much, — at Hom- 
bourg. I know no place where there are so many delightful 
excursions in the environs, and so many enchanting views 
within reach of a lady's walk or ride — such forests to wan- 
der in, such hills to climb. On the side by which we quit- 
ted the town, the woods have been most tastefully laid out 
in walks and drives, so as to make the forest both safe and 
easy of access; and yet it has been done without at all injur- 
ing the romantic beauty of the scene. The singular part of 
the arrangement is, that the different kinds of scenery are 
made to blend; or rather to follow each other, so artfully, 
that it is difficult to say where one ends and the other be- 
gins. On leaving the town we came to ' gardens trim' and 
'well laid out with gravel walks and terraces; from gardens 
we came to groves, from groves to woods, still getting 
wilder and wilder, as we advanced ; the paths becoming 
narrower and less frequent, the shade thicker and darker, till 
here and there a mass of rock appears, and the woodland 
scene becomes a forest. What seemed the gentle slope of 
a hill, now grew to be the steep side of a mountain, till at 
length we found ourselves in the midst of crags and leaping 
waterfalls, in a mountainous wilderness, wild enough for the 



1 36 BELGIUM AND 

most romantic spirit to revel in, and this without being con- 
scious where the different changes had taken place. 

" We had not long entered the forest when we roused a 
fine doe from a thicket close by. We saw a variety of game 
here, — -deer, hares, and pheasants. On one side of the 
straight road I have mentioned, there is a beautiful well- 
fenced park, belonging, I presume, to the Landgravine, 
which seemed to be well stocked with deer. Just as we 
came to the palace gardens, on our return, we met the Prin- 
cess going out on an evening drive among her lovely groves 
and noble hills. '^ 



WESTERN GERMANY. 137 



CHAPTER X. ' 

Darmstadt — Heppenheim — Storkenberg — Bergstrosse — Weinheim — 
Peasantry — Crops — IMannheim — The Palace — Ducal Gardens — Ball 
— Observatory — Church of the Jesuits— Theatre — Schwetzingen Gar- 
dens. 

From Francfort we proceeded to Darmstadt, — a little 
capital which, not long ago, was as celebrated as that of good 
King Rene for music, dance, and song; but it lost much in 
losing its late Grand Duke. His garden of pleasance, his 
stately manege, his delightful Opera, are all, if not fallen to 
decay, at least fallen into disuse ; and the place, notwith- 
standing the noble air of its spacious mansions, with their 
ample gardens and gay verandahs, looks like a city whose 
glory has passed away. The late sovereign appears to have 
been the centre around which all that was gay and courtly 
moved; and the mourning draperies put up to honour his 
obsequies, seem still to hang about the objects he loved best. 
His darling Opera is hushed and silent; weeds contest the 
soil with the flowers of his garden; — and in the streets of his 
pretty capital too much gra^ss is growing to permit it to look 
either gay or flourishing. 

Nevertheless, I advise all travellers to proceed from Franc- 
fort to Mannheim by the way of Darmstadt, instead of turn- 
ing back to Mayence, and going on by the river. Having 
tried both routes, I feel privileged to give counsel in the case, 
and can testify, not only that there is very little interest or 
beauty in the voyage between Mayence and Mannheim, but 
that the drive from Darmstadt is through some of the love- 
liest scenery of the country. It is true, indeed, that the 
steamboat passes by the venerable city of Worms, but all 
which can be seen of it from the deck is not enough to induce 
a change of route. 

We made this delightful little journey in an open carriage: 
but even so, I could by no means see as much as I wished, 
and therefore determined, though at the risk of arriving late 
at the place of our destination, to climb one of the castled 

18 



138 BELGIUM AND 

hills, at the feet of which we were passing. For this purpose 
we left the carriage for an hour or two at Heppenheim, and 
indulged in one of those delightful rambles, of which I en- 
joyed many during our tour, and which showed more of the 
characteristic features of the country, and of its wild and pe- 
culiar beauty, than can be conceived by merely looking at 
the various celebrated spots seen from the high road of the l| 
Rhine. 

The little town of Heppenheim itself has much that is inte- 
resting: its high antiquity is proved by a stone in the church 
bearing date 805; it has, moreover, considerable claims to pic- 
turesque beauty, from the bright ripple of its pretty brook, 
its uncouth bridges, and its ruinous walls. We hardly took 
a step after leaving the inn that did not bring us to a picture. 
Little urchins, with one scanty garment as the only covering 
to their rosy limbs, were dabbling under the shade of one 
green bridge; and a beautiful girl, with golden hair and bare 
legs, was carrying flowery fodder to her cow, over another; 
and at the low, wicketed door of many a Teniers-like cottage, 
were groups which would have made an admirable study for 
Wilkie. 

After a lingering walk through the town, we mounted, 
mounted, mounted, by a long, sinuous path among the vines, 
till we reached the majestic ruins of Storkenberg. I wish 
that the barons who built, and dwelt in, these glorious old 
castles, had not left such reputations for tyranny, cruelty, and 
all that is hateful, behind them; for there is something so 
noble in the choice of their commanding sites, that it is diffi- 
cult not to feel respect for the daring spirits who, planting a 
foot upon these towering heights, exclaimed, ** Here shall 
be my stronghold and my home!" 

Having conquered this steep ascent, spite of a flinty path 
beneath our feet, and a scorching sun above our heads, we 
sat down in the shade of a mighty wall, and fully enjoyed 
the recompense of our toil. The view from the Storkenberg 
is made up of all that the eye best loves to look upon. Hill 
and valley, forest and fertile plain, rocks, ruins, lowly ham- 
lets, and knightly castles, all are spread out before the sight, 
with such lavish prodigality of beauty, as might well suffice 
to furnish forth a dozen landscapes. Behind us the hill sunk 
but a little, ere it rose again into a mountain forest; — so dark 



WESTERN GERMANY. 139 

and wild, and yet so lovely, in the contrast its shade offered 
to the sunny hill we were about to descend, that it was only 
by an effort of great prudence that I was enabled to refuse 
my consent to plunging into it. The spot on which we re- 
posed was, however, well calculated to make us forget our 
fatigue. The shade was perfect, and a delightful breeze seemed 
to ascend to us from the valley. It is really a woful thing to 
turn from such a spot, and know that it is resigned for ever; 
for who can hope a second time to be favoured by all the 
little intricate contingencies which must be strung together, 
all in the right order, before one can find oneself on the rocky 
summit of the distant Storkenberg? But the day was waning 
fast, and reluctantly leaving our delightful lair, we traced 
back our way, peeping over the luxuriant growth of the 
vines, till we again found ourselves beside the brook of Hep- 
penheim. 

We got some excellent coffee at the little inn, and then 
proceeded along the Bergstrosse, as the magnificent range of 
hills is called, among which this fine road passes. Every 
moment of our progress showed us new and increasing splen- 
dour of scenery, till we reached the wondrous little town of 
Weinheim. 

I shall make no attempt to describe the situation of this 
place, as singular as it is beautiful, for I am quite sure I could 
not make myself intelligible. We saw it, too, when the 
setting sun gives that breadth of shadow and power of light 
to a bold and hilly landscape, which is so utterly beyond the 
power of words to record. We here again left the carriage, 
and spent more time than our driver willingly allowed, in 
running from point to point, to gaze upon the plain below 
us, through which the broad Rhine swept along; and then 
upon the wild peaks of the Bergstrosse on the other side, 
which, lovelier far in the near distinctness of their dark 
forests, and their granite crags, seemed to make the distant 
Vosges look like a thin mass of vapour on the horizon. 

Let no one, who has time to spare, content himself with 
seeing the country between Darmstadt and Manheim, merely 
in the course of a long day's short journey, as we did ; but, 
let him, after taking up his quarters at the latter place, devote 
one entire day to Weinheim. The high antiquity and bold 
position of its walls and towers, as well as the exceeding 



140 BELGIUM AND 

beauty of the landscape over which they hang, render it a 
spot of very peculiar interest. 

It was not till after our cautious driver had repeatedly told 
us we should be very late at Mannheim, that we at length 
remounted the carriage to follow the road, which we saw, 
but too plainly, must immediately take us out of sight of all 
that had so greatly delighted us. A rapid descent soon 
brought us to the plain on which Mannheim is situated, and 
the coming darkness appeared likely to hide nothing from 
us, more than a continuation of rich and ripening crops. This 
valley is cultivated in long narrow strips, without any en- 
closures. We saw wheat, hops, potatoes, flax, hemp, oats, 
rye, clover, Indian corn, and tobacco. There are also some 
patches of vines, but these are in small quantity here, being 
chiefly cultivated on the southren sides of the' steepest hills; 
— a situation which at once shelters them from the biting 
north, and gives all the sunshine of the climate, doubled by 
reflection. I was surprised to find such fine crops of Indian 
corn. Though it does not grow quite so high as I have seen 
it in America, it appears to flourish, and bears a large and 
heavy ear. 

Independent of the beautiful scenery of the Bergstrosse, 
the road we had this day travelled was more than commonly- 
interesting from the picturesque dress of the numerous pea- 
santry scattered in and about it. It was the last week of July, 
and harvest of every kind, except that of the vineyards, was 
near at hand. All the rustic population seemed in activity, 
and there really appeared no end to the pretty variety of 
figures that peopled the landscape. Old men and women, 
young men and maidens, frolicsome boys and laughing girls, 
all in the strange, fantastic dresses of the country, thronged 
the fields. The costume of the women was very pretty — 
large white sleeves, pushed high above the elbow, coloured 
bodices, and full, short petticoats, with the hair sometimes 
fastened up in a net, and sometimes plaited in long braids, as 
the girls of Switzerland wear it. A few among them had 
enormously large straw hats, but these were much less fre- 
quent here, than we found them afterwards towards Baden. 
The men, too, all looked like pictures out of a book of fancy 
dresses; with their large cocked hats, long straight-breasted 
coats, and showy waistcoats. The general effect was very 



WESTERN GERMANY. 141 

much that of the corps de ballet in a rustic dance at the 
French Opera. 

According to the prediction of our driver, we did not reach 
Mannheim till long after night-fall. The streets appeared 
long and wide, but very dark; an occasional candle on the 
counter of a druggist's shop, or from the yet open window of 
a private dwelling, being all the light we saw. 

On reaching the principal hotel, however, every window 
of its wide extent seemed illuminated ; and we received, in 
answer to our application for apartments, the reply that might 
have been expected, " Every room in the house is occupied." 

These are unpleasant sounds to hear at eleven o'clock at 
night; — and, as we had received no direction to any second 
inn, we remained for a moment quite at a loss to determine 
what we were to do next. On perceiving this, a waiter 
again stepped forward, and begged to recommend us to the 
Weinberg. We gladly followed the direction, and in a few 
minutes found ourselves as perfectly comfortable, and as 
completely at home, as it was possible for a hotel to make 
us. 

I have seldom seen so large a town as Mannheim with so 
few people moving about it ; and yet there is no appearance 
of desolation either. Everything looks handsome, neat, and 
cheerful. There are well-dressed ladies and gentlemen walk- 
ing in the streets ; and pretty soubrettes, with hair as nicely 
arranged as if they were going to a ball, tripping with dainty 
baskets on their arms, to do their ladies' bidding. Then 
there are soldiers enough to make it look military, and mu- 
sic enough to make it seem gay ; but all is so orderly and 
quiet, and has an air of such point-device neatness, that it 
seems as if there were some officer in the town whose duty 
it was to go through the streets every morning, to see that 
all things were put in order; the nice little fruit-stalls in 
their proper places ; and all the tidy little boys, whipping 
their tops just in the right corner, and nowhere else. The 
whole appearance of the town points it out as a princely 
residence; but the present Grand Duke of Baden has fixed 
his residence at Carlsruhe ; and some apartments, only, in 
the magnificent palace at Mannheim, are inhabited by the 
Dowager Grand Duchess Stephanie. 

In elegance of arrangement and decoration, I have seen 



142 BELGIUM AND 

nothing to compare with the Prince of Orange's palace at 
Brussels ; but, in size, it is a plaything compared to that of 
Mannheim. One wing of this immense fabric was destroy- 
ed by fire, when in possession of the French in 1795, by 
the bombardment of the Austrians ; and, till informed that 
it had contained the theatre,! felt quite at a loss to imagine to 
wdiat purpose it could have been applied ; every requisite for 
a princely residence being so amply furnished by the other 
parts. Besides rooms for state, and rooms for comfort, al- 
most innumerable, this vast pile contains a very extensive 
suite of apartments fitted up as a picture gallery, another for 
antiques, and another for books. In addition to all this, 
there appear to be numerous suites, appropriated as residences 
for persons of distinction holding places about the court ; and 
very charming residences they must be, manyof them look- 
ing over the superb gardens to the Rhine, and the fine chain 
of mountains beyond it. 

There is also a large and handsome chapel making part of 
the remaining wing ; and more colonnades, galleries, corri- 
dors, and staircases, than would suffice for half-a-dozen palaces 
in these degenerate days. That part of the residence, which 
has been recently fitted up for the Dowager Grand Duchess, 
is rich and elegant in its furniture and hangings ; but it bears 
about the same proportion to the entire edifice, that the pri- 
vate apartnients of the Queen of England do to the whole of 
Windsor Castle. The fine gardens, which reach from the 
palace to the Rhine, are admirably laid out a VAnglaise; 
and, like those of all the other sovereign princes of Germany, 
are open to the public. This indulgence is repaid by the 
most cautious and respectful forbearance from all injury, on 
the part of the people ; all the beautiful variety of shrubs 
and forest trees, so profusely scattered over the grounds, 
still sweep the lawns with their luxuriant branches, and 
evidently can never have been touched by any wanton or 
mischievous hand. 

These noble grounds are bounded towards the river by a 
terrace, afibrding one of the finest walks imaginable. The 
Rhine, and the fertile valley beyond it, with the wavy out- 
line of the Bergstrosse, are on one side ; the gardens, the 
palace, the towers of the church and observatory, with Mont 
Tonnerre for a background, on the other. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 143 

The unfettered privilege of entering at all hours among 
such groves and lawns, such shrubs and flowers, would be 
delightful to any people; but must, I think, be very pecu- 
liarly so to the Germans, whose passion fpr flowers is as uni- 
versal, and as evident, as their love of music. Not a cottage 
but has its sweet-scented parierre; not a hut but can show 
some little morsel of earth, if it be only a yard square, fenced 
about with broken platters, and fragments of old tubs, yet 
containing delicious blossoms, cultivated with a degree of 
care, and science too, that would not disgrace the King's 
Road between Chelsea and Fulham. This love of flowers is 
equally perceptible in town and country ; and I think it 
would be difficult to find a house in which some balcony or 
windov^r did not give a proof of it. 

There are so many pleasant excursions within a morning^s 
drive of Mannheim, that I should have much liked to have 
passed a week there ; but unfortunately we had not the ad- 
vantage of knowing a single person in the town. I brought 
a letter of introduction, which would have been sufficient to 
do all I wished for us, in the way of presentation, but, par 
vialheur, the individual to whom it was addressed had left 
Mannheim for the summer ; and nothing remained for us, 
but to see what was most interesting in the place, and depart. 
Having decided that less than two days could not suffice, 
even for this, we inquired of our host what public amuse- 
ments were going on, that might occupy the two evenings 
we proposed to stay. "There is a ball to-night, and a play 
to-morrow,'' was the answer received ; and we rejoiced at 
our good fortune, for neither of these was of daily occur- 
rence. 

I was rather surprised, however, upon making inquiries 
respecting a carriage to convey us to this ball, at being 
assured that I should have no need of one, for that all the 
world walked to the Muhlau, and that it was " une pro- 
menade enchanter esse. ''"' 

The weather was, indeed, such as to make an evening 
walk far from disagreeable. The heat throughout the day 
had been oppressive, but we had now a cool breeze and a 
bright moon ; and we set off, nothing loath, for the Muhlau. 
The room is very plain, but of good size and shape for 
waltzing. It was already nearly full ; but with the civility 



144 . BELGIUM AND 

or rather kindness, which is so remarkable a feature in the 
manners of this country, we were ushered, as strangers, to 
the top of the room, and obtained good places for seeing 
the dancing. 

But, though beauty was abundant, and though nothing was 
to be found fault with in the general neatness of dress and 
appearance, it was immediately evident that this was not the 
sort of meeting we had expected ; and, on making subse- 
quent inquiries we found that two balls in the week were 
held throughout the season : — the one being for the noblesse, 
and the other for the bourgeoisie : — we were at the latter. 

Though we might, perhaps, have preferred seeing how 
noble ladies performed the dance which is native to them, 
and which is engrafting itself slowly, but surely, on our own 
manners, we had, nevertheless, much to console us for the 
disappointment ; for never did I see two hundred people 
met together, who had more completely the air of enjoying 
themselves. 

For my own particular share of the amusement, I found 
a study that would have lasted me longer than the time we 
stayed, without any danger that I should grow weary of it. 
Close to the place where we had stationed ourselves was a 
group of females; consisting, I think, of two families, for 
there were two matronly women seated together, and four 
young girls, who, when not dancing, constantly returned to 
stand near tliem. Three of these were certainly sisters ; 
the other was perhaps a cousin, or a friend, or an acquaint- 
ance ; but it was clear that they had joined parties for the eve- 
ning. The three sisters might have served as models, if not 
for the Graces, at least for Hebe ; or any other goddess or 
nymph that should be represented as the personification of 
prettiness, health, and gaiety — fresh, fair, light-haired, bright- 
eyed beings, who looked as if they had nothing to do but to 
dance through life, throwing flowers and smiles about them 
as they went on. The solitary girl was a little yellow crea- 
ture, with an undeniable pug nose ; and, if her teeth were 
white, she had certainly no business with so extremely wide 
a mouth to display them. But this yellow little creature 
had a pair of eyes — such eyes ! I might be able to describe 
them better had it been possible to look at them steadily for 
two minutes together ; — but they sparkled, and shot, and 



WESTERN GERMANY. 147 

constructed of the most costly marbles, and the pillars of the 
ark that stands upon it are of fine agate. The whole aspect 
of this church, though immeasurably inferior in all respects to 
the glorious cathedrals of former ages, ha3 that about it which 
strongly awakens interest. Its peculiar arrangement, as con- 
nected with the palace and the convent, vividly recalls the 
days when princes and priests felt mutual dependence and 
mutual reverence. The abbot passed from his convent to 
the presence of his sovereign through a private room, un- 
challenged and unannounced, to be consulted on the prince's 
political anxieties, and to aflford him the comfort and assist- 
ance of his advice. The sovereign, by the same route, could 
enter the cell of his confessor, and pass thence with the sacred 
privacy of devotion into the chamber, which is still to be 
seen, enclosed by windows, above the altar. 

That for purposes such as these the palace, convent, and 
church were constructed in the manner we now see them 
cannot be doubted. Such intimate communion is now no 
longer needed; but, perhaps, it requires the test of longer 
experience than has yet been given it, before the advantages 
to be derived from withdrawing the voices of churchmen 
from the councils of the state shall be clearly ascertained. 

Our second evening was spent at the theatre, which is large 
and handsome. It was extremely well filled, and the com- 
pany had the same air of feeling themselves at home as at 
Francfort. The alley in the pit, immediately below the 
boxes, was filled by very gentlemanlike-looking men, most 
of whom were officers. They remained standing during the 
whole performance; and between the acts took advantage 
of their position to converse with the ladies in the boxes. 
Here we saw two pieces performed; but both were so short, 
that the curtain dropped upon the lamps before daylight had 
quite disappeared. 

The least agreeable features in Mannheim are its waterless 
fountains. These are, I think, six in number: they are built 
of marble, and very nobly conceived; but it seems that the 
Grand Duke, who projected this beautiful and useful embel- 
lishment of the city, died before the water was conveyed to 
them, and in this abortive state they have remained ever 
since. 

From Mannheim we drove to Schwetzingen? for the pur- 



148 BELGIUM AND 

pose of seeing the celebrated gardens there; second only, it 
is said, to those of the Elector of Hesse Cassel, at Wilhelms- 
hohea They are, indeed, truly magnificent ; and on so much 
more vast a scale than anything of the kind in England, that 
I know not to what I may compare them. 

Were I to enumerate the terraces, fountains, aviaries, tem- 
ples, waterfalls, grottoes, groves, parterres^ lawns, lakes, sta- 
tues, mosques, baths, boats, and bridges, with which they 
are studded, I should delude the reader into a belief that it 
was a crowded collection of incongruous objects; but this is 
very far from being, the case. The space they occupy is a 
hundred and seventy acres; and this, by the skilful arrange- 
ment of the artist who laid them out, is made amply sufficient 
to present all these pretty things in succession, without un- 
pleasantly interfering with each other. 

Some of the sculptured groups are sufficiently good to pro- 
duce an excellent effect, and the magnificence of the trees 
among which they are seen, the stately length of the noble 
avenues, the judicious mixture of water in the landscape, and 
the wonderful variety and extent of the walks leading through 
it, altogether make these ducal gardens an exhibition that no 
one should neglect to visit. 

Among the gratifications offered by this now forsaken re- 
sidence, is a theatre for private performances, which, some 
years ago, were carried on with great spirit by the court. It 
has pit, boxes, orchestra, scenes, and so on, in very good 
style; with the additional advantage of opening at the ex- 
tremity of the stage upon a grove of trees, whenever the 
piece performed would admit such a decoration. At another 
spot in the grounds there was a prettier theatre still, in which 
a raised terrace of turf made the boxes, a well-shorn lawn 
the pit, a bright cascade, surrounded by statues, the back 
scene; while roses and honeysuckles, trained upon trellis- 
work, constituted the side scenes. Here, as the gardener 
informed us, plays were frequently performed by noble lords 
and ladies during the summer, as well as at the less airy 
theatre ; and to both the public were freely admitted, some 
of the best places being courteously reserved for strangers. 
There is something exceedingly noble in the arrangements 
of these German princes, as to their places of recreation: 
everything is upon a scale of great magnificence, and the 



WESTERN GERMANY. 149 

public are admitted to so large a share of the enjoyment, 
that it may well be supposed every amusement prepared for 
the prince must increase his popularity with the people. 

A large suite of banqueting and withdrawing-rooms show 
a fine facade to the gardens on one side of the palace; and 
an orangery and conservatory, ending in the theatre, answer 
to it on the other. The flowers retain possession of their 
noble habitation, but all the rest of the dwelling, including 
the chapel, has a most desolate aspect. 

There are, in truth, so many splendid palaces belonging to 
the Grand Dude of Baden, that it would be equally useless 
and troublesome to keep them all up as residences. To main- 
tain their extensive gardens in the style in which they are 
always kept, must require a very considerable revenue ; yet 
this appears to be done at all of them ; the motive for which 
may be, that the neighbourhood of each should sufier as little 
as possible from the absence of the sovereign. 

We dined, not too well, at one of the little inns in the vil- 
lage of Schwetzingen, and then proceeded to Heidelberg. 



150 BELGIUM AND 



CHAPTER XL 

Heidelberg — Neuenheim — Heidelberg Castle — The Necker — Necker- 
steinach- — Tilsberg — Steinach — Tun of Heidelberg — Broken Tower — 
English Antiquaries. 

Heidelbekg is placed at the point where the Necker 
emerges from the narrow valley through which it has run 
from its source, and whence it flows through a flat rich plain, 
till it joins the Rhine at Mannheim. At the entrance of this 
narrow valley, hills, or rather mountains, covered with dark 
forests, rise suddenly from the water's edge on either side, 
and you are again in the midst of the wild heights of the 
Bergstrosse. Between these, after passing the town of Hei- 
delberg, there is just room enough for the stream to pass, 
with a road on each side of it. Here and there, indeed, a 
hollow recess gives space for a little villa, with its hanging 
garden; and on the left, as you ascend the river, a few vines 
find room to grow; but these often give place to rocks with 
their frequent quarries. 

It is on the right-hand height that the majestic ruins of 
Heidelberg Castle hang in mid-air. These are opened to the 
eye, on entering the town from Schwetzingen, with a degree 
of splendour quite unequalled^by any other view in the coun- 
try. The evening was closing as we drove up to our hotel, 
but v/e all agreed that it was impossible to sleep till we had 
penetrated to the centre of this enormous pile. Having given 
a hasty glance at the apartments, and ordered coflee to be 
ready in an hour, we set off. But more than two elapsed ere 
we returned ; and, even then, darkness had driven us from 
the walls before one-half of this extraordinary fabric had been 
even looked at. 

I would I had povv^er to describe all we saw through those 
hours of twilight, but there is a two-fold difficulty in the at- 
tempt. On the one hand, I might disgust the reader by a 
high-flown rhapsody of admiration; and on the other, I 



WESTERN GERMANY. 151 

should be sure to vex myself by the tame and flat insufficiency 
of any praise I could bestow. 

Though the ascent is steep, the road has been made almost 
easy, by the care bestowed upon it. The first steep, straight 
portion of it, however, has no beauty; but, having mastered 
this, your reward awaits you. From this point, there are 
two approaches to the castle; one, by a fair, smooth path, 
sheltered by noble trees, and gradually leading above the tops 
of those which grow on the hill-side, till at length the level 
space behind the castle and in front of the great gateway is 
reached; the other is by a steep flight of steps into the very 
heart of the fortress, through a vast, subterranean, vaulted hall, 
which conducts you to a small interior court, and thence by 
another flight to the level of the court-yard. Take which 
route you will, there is no danger of the highest-wrought 
expectations being disappointed. By the first, you will wind 
round the. base of towers, which look as if a giant architect 
had reared them for a giant prince ;— by the last, you will be 
led under arches which, even in ruin, seem to speak of eternal 
duration: — -and both lead to a terrace, from whence a view 
is seen, so much beyond what the power of words can paint, 
that all the most faithful traveller can say, to any purpose, 
on the subject, is, " Go, all, with as little delay as possible, 
and look at it.'' 

On our first visit, we followed the more circuitous route 
under the trees. Had we not done so, we should have been 
quickly involved in almost total darkness; for, even at mid- 
day, but little light finds its way into the subterranean hall. 

On reaching the esplanade, before the chief entrance, you 
have no very extended view; for the lofty summit of the 
Geissberg is on one side, and the wide-spreading castle on 
the other; but, on passing under this portal, and crossing the 
court-yard, you reach another archway, which leads to the 
grand north terrace, acknowledged to be one of the finest 
points of view in Europe. The very last glories of sunset 
were fading from the summit of the Vosges, as we reached it; 
and all below this gigantic terrace was already in the deepest 
shade. The Necker, alone, still reflected the faint remnant 
of daylight; but, on the opposite side, the towering Heiligen- 
berg was as black as night. On the terrace, however, we 
remained — not planet-struck, but prospect-struck — till we 



152 BELGIUM AND 

could see no longer; and then we found our way back as we 
could, through the darkness of the arched gateways, and un- 
der the scarcely lighter shadow of the fine trees, which hung 
over the walk leading down to the town. 

The following morning it was decided, that, before mount- 
ing again to the castle, w^e should cross the bridge over the 
Necker, and look at it from a distance. The view from 
the opposite side of the river is very beautiful ; but the cas- 
tle itself loses somewhat of its magical effect, by being seen 
completely against the hill which rises behind it. Unhke 
all the other ruins I have seen, Heidelberg owes not its great- 
est beauty to decay. There are many parts of it, in which 
the architectural splendour of the building still remains suffi- 
ciently entire to render it an object of universal admiration ; 
independently of its superb position and great'historical in- 
terest. In fact, the most valuable drawings that have been 
made of it, are by no means picturesque, but entirely archi- 
tectural. The scenery around it, of a style the most grand 
and wild, is hardly within reach of the pencil. If attempted 
from the heights, all the enchantment vanishes; for a map- 
like sort of bird's-eye view is all which can be hoped for. If 
taken from below, the great object of the attempt, the glo- 
rious castle, is seen fiat against the dark uniform background 
of the Geissberg hill ; and neither light, air, nor effect can 
be hoped for. In short, Heidelberg is a place calculated to 
put a landscape painter in a fever; for, while it surrounds him 
with all he must most wish to have, it shows, him, at the same 
time, that little of it is w^ithin his reach. 

The village of Neuenheim, on this side of the river, has 
many interesting features. We were shown a roof, — a very 
humble one, — which is said to have sheltered Luther, on his 
retreat from Worms, after rneeting the Convocation assem- 
bled there in 1521, by order of Charles V. Two windows 
are pointed out as being those of the chamber w^hich he oc- 
cupied. There is a very tempting walk, called the " Sentier 
des Philosophes,^^ that leads from the village to the top of 
the Heiligenberg; and, had such a path, to such a mountain, 
met me anywhere else, I should certainly have followed it,™ 
whatever the risk of fatigue might have been ; — but, now, 
the great magnet drew us back again across the bridge; and 
once more we prepared to mount the castle. We were ac- 



WESTERN GERMANY, 153 

costed, on our route, by numberless little boys, who petitioned 
for the honour of serving us as guides amid the ruins. Their 
mode of address was very engaging ; for they uniformly pre- 
faced the request by presenting to each of us a pretty nose- 
gay of freshly-gathered flowers, out of the little baskets with 
which they were furnished, apparently as a sort of profes- 
sional property. We selected a fine bright-looking little fel- 
low, who performed the office admirably ; and, under his 
guidance, we now traversed the whole of this amazing fabric. 
J will not venture to inflict upon my readers any attempt of 
mine to recount its vast, complicated, intricate, and most 
splendid varieties. All I can do is to record our delight, our 
wonder, our intense feeling of astonishment at the marvels, 
both of art and nature, so lavishly spread before us. This 
enormous pile, the work of successive princes, through many 
ages, is a relic of what was most gorgeous and most noble 
in each. 

Towers and battlements, statues and columns, with " sto- 
ried architrave,'^ and sculptured frieze, — the banqueting-hall, 
and the chapel, — all stood before us, almost appalling in their 
stateliness- — yet all slowly crumbling into irretrievable decay. 
On turning from this scene to the still fresh beauty of the 
landscape below, — to the town, the river, the valley,— over 
which the lordly dwelling had so long towered, pre-eminent 
in dignity, as in place, the whole effect is so magnificent, 
that it is impossible to contemplate it without strange emo- 
tion. 

I heartily wish to avoid, if possible, the writing descriptions 
in issimo, as Lord Orford calls it, but sometimes it is very 
difficult to do this; and, spite of all the caution I have endea- 
voured to use, I almost fear whether I may not already have 
offended against the modesty of common sense, whilst speak- 
ing of this extraordinary scene. 

The remainder of a long morning was spent upon the 
Geissberg. After visiting every part of the ruins, and deciding 
that we should pass one entire day amongst them, before we 
left Heidelberg, we proceeded to the fine gardens, the lawns 
and terraces of which cling to the side of the mountain all 
round the castle. To the summit of this mountain we then 
ascended, and sought, in vain, for some traces of the original 
tower, said to have existed before the present magnificent 

20 



154 BELGIUM AND 

edifice was built upon the lower elevation of the JettenbuhU 
There are many wild legends circulated respecting it; some 
of which speak of a beautiful sorceress, named Jetta, who was 
its inhabitant; and who, before a stone of the present castle 
was laid, prophesied its foundation, its greatness, its long-in- 
creasing splendour, the glories of its founder's race, (now on 
the throne of Bavaria,) its awful trembling, when repeatedly 
struck by thunderbolts from heaven, and its subsequent slow 
and lingering decay into the elements, from which her voice 
had called it. But, though we failed to find the fragments 
of moss-covered stones, which they told us still remained in*' 
the depth of the vvoodvS, we came upon the Wolfsbrun, — a 
small stream,, on the brink of which the sorceress Jetta was 
slain by a wolf, immediately after she had uttered the pro- 
phecy above-mentioned. It is a spot which a poet might 
draw upon for ever, for his woodland imagery. 

In the evening, we took a circuit of the town ; which de- 
rives great beauty from the castled hill adorning it on one 
side, and the bright stream, with the still loftier eminence 
which skirts it on the other. The streets were perfectly 
crowded by the students, who, but for their eternal pipes, 
would be a very fine looking set of young men. There are 
some handsome buildings belonging to the University; 
but I am almost ashamed to confess, that the picturesque 
fever was. so strong upon us at this time, that we made 
no attempt to see any of the literary and scientific treasures 
they contain. I think, indeed, that in this town nothing, 
however pre-eminent in excellence, if it be quite unconnected 
with the locality, can hope for a due share of notice and ad- 
miration. Were I, for instance, a very distinguished person- 
age, and fond of being recognized as such, 1 would rather 
seek my honours where I had to contend with all the great 
ones of the earth, than with the attractions of the crumbling 
stones, the rugged hills, and shallow stream of Heidelberg. 

The next day was devoted to following the Necker, as far 
as a summer's day and a pair of horses could take us. On 
quitting the town, by the southren side of the river, we passed 
under a gateway of some pretension, but no great elegance. 
The drive, through this narrow valley, to Neckergemund, is 
as full of beauty as any two or three leagues which any of 
us remembered. One pretty feature of it is the working of 



WESTERN GERMANY. 155 

the red-stone quarries, on the opposite side. This continues, 
at intervals, the whole way; each quarry being divided from 
its neighbour by jutting crags, too beetling, perhaps to be 
worked; but diversified by a beautiful sprinkling of dwarf 
oak and beech, that contrive to push forth almost horizon- 
tally from their fissures. Nothing can be more picturesque 
than the numerous groups of labourers, employed in blasting, 
raising, and launching the stones down to the river's edge, 
this last operation adds no trifling charm to the scene. The 
continual masses sent from a great height, rolling, bounding, 
springing, and rattling as they descend, till they finally dash 
into the water, create a sort of fearful interest by no means 
unpleasing, when watched from the opposite side of the 
Necker; but, wo to the unwary wanderer who may chance 
to take a fancy for rambling on the northern bank! The en- 
countering a train, on the Manchester railroad, would hardly 
produce more certain destruction, than would a contact with 
one of these falling rocks. 

The pretty village of Neckergemund hangs, most trinket- 
like, upon the chain of hills we had followed from Heidel- 
berg. A bright little mountain brook comes dancing down, 
among its cottages, to join the Necker ; and it seems proba- 
ble, that this brook is sometimes sufficiently copious to occa- 
sion a very inconvenient augmentation of the latter stream; 
for we read, on several houses, inscriptions, recording the 
height of the water at different periods, in some of which 
all the lower part of the village must have been submerged. 

We here crossed the river, — carriage, horses, and all, — in 
a flat-bottomed boat, just large enough, and not an inch to 
spare. The Necker makes a turn at this place, almost at 
right angles ; and, when we were in the middle of the 
stream, and could command both reaches at once, the view 
almost suggested the idea of fairy land ; so much did the 
bold, unexpected objects, which became visible, exceed all 
we had seen, or hoped to see. In looking towards the 
country we had passed, we observed that the river assumed 
the appearance of a lovely lake, surrounded on all sides by 
towering cliffs ; and, on turning the eye forward, a lofty, 
conical, forest-covered hill presented itself, crowned by a 
circular town, which covers its summit completely. A 
ruinous, embattled wall surrounds the whole ; and a mighty 



156 BELGIUM AND 

tower, of size most disproportioned to the town it guards, 
rises magnificently against the sky. 

On reaching the left-hand shore, the road continues close 
to the water's edge ; till, at the distance of two miles, the 
ancient town of Neckersteinach, unquestionably one of the 
loveliest spots in this most lovely land, appears in sight. 

From this point, to the little hotel, to which we had been 
directed, a distance of about half a mile, we drove through 
some scenery which really looks as if the objects had been 
brought together purposely to enchant the eye. The mar- 
vellous Tiisberg, with the circular town and lofty tower on 
its brow, rises steep and abrupt, on the opposite side of the 
river, from the midst of a little, bright, green, level meadow 
on its bank. Before us was the rambling town of Necker- 
steinach, scattered up and down the little hill on which it 
stands, with about a score of light craft moored before it ; 
and, above our heads, towering rocks and dark forests rose 
steep and high, with the ruins of two stately castles looking 
down upon us from among them. On another rising knoll, 
quite distant from all the hills around it, stood the disman- 
tled, but less ruinous, remains of two other bergs ; which 
seemed to have their strength linked together by walled ter- 
races erected between them. The Necker makes a sudden, 
but beautiful, sweep round the little meadow at the foot of 
the Tiisberg; and the curving shore opposite, the boats, the 
houses, and their hanging gardens, the ruined castles, and the 
forest-covered height on which they stand, altogether form 
a picture seldom equalled. It was just such scenery as one 
longed to revel in, without the incumbrance of carriage and 
horses, or anything else to prevent one's turning first this 
way, and then the other, without any restraint whatever. 

We wasted but little time in bespeaking dinner, giving 
orders to the driver about our return, and such other ordi- 
nary matters, ere we found ourselves climbing the isolated 
knoll, towards the most curious, though the least ruined, 
castle of the four. But, before we reached it, another plea- 
sure awaited us; for, on attaining the summit of the little 
ridge, and looking down upon the side of it, farthest from 
the Necker, instead of seeing the undulating ground, which 
generally connects such an elevation with the loftier heights 
in its vicinity, we beheld a little valley deep sunk below us; 



WESTERN GERMANY. 157 

SO bright in verdure, and so tempting from its cool and quiet 
shade, that nothing prevented my immediately descending 
into it but the timely recollection of the labour of returning. 
Through this emerald valley flowed a -stream, rapid, deep, 
and clear, called the Steinach ; which a guide-book describes 
as ^' le ruisseau le plus anciennement cite loin a la ronde." 
If it were cite for its exceeding beauty, I can well under- 
stand this ; for it is just such a stream as an errant knight 
might wish to reach, when longing to slake his thirst, after 
a fierce and fiery combat, or to repose his limbs on a velvet 
turf, under the eternal shade of lofty hills and umbrageous 
oaks. 

After gazing at this miniature valley, till we had sujffi- 
ciently refreshed ourselves by the sight of its coldness, we 
proceeded to the castle ; which, old records say, was the 
residence of a powerful baron : — lord, not only of the valley 
and the stream, but also of the knights, who inhabited the 
three other strongholds in its neighbourhood, and who held 
them as his vassals, and for his security. One of these sub- 
ject knights acquired the name of Landschaden, signifying 
''curse of the country," or something very like it; which 
amiable appellation remained with his race, till a few years 
ago, when the last male died childless. The castle of his 
chief, though the oldest of the four, and known to have ex- 
isted in the year 1140, is still in part habitable. The Ritter- 
saal has, probably, been little changed ; being still a large 
handsome room, commanding most lovely views by two 
large windows, one looking across the Necker towards the 
Tilsberg, the other to the little valley of the Steinach. In 
this hall of the knights was seated a person, whom we ima- 
gined to be some public functionary, as he had various pa- 
'pers, and implements for writing, before him. He was very 
civil ; and, had he been not quite so old, or not quite so 
young, I doubt not that the romance, which, from the mo- 
ment I came in sight of the place, had been gathering be- 
fore me, like the mirage of the desert, would have enabled 
me to imagine him some very distinguished personage ; 
taking refuge from the malice of fortune, in a spot where 
nature alone seemed capable of atoning for all the sorrows 
that the world could bring. But, alas I a middle-aged per- 
sonage at once puts to sleep, extinguishes, and annihilates 



158 BELGIUM AND 

all sublime inquiries ; so, after obtaining what local informa- 
tion he could give us, we left the Rittersaal, and climbed and 
dived into every part of the half-ruinous edifice — save one. 
That defied us; and the girl, who padded about after us with 
bare feet and staring eyes, assured my son, who was the best 
German of the party, that no one, in the memory of man, 
had ever found the way to enter that tower. 

This was by no means the only instance we met with, in 
our pertinacious examinations of towers, placed in the midst 
of mysterious old bergs, where the entrance must have been 
either by excavated passages from below, or by communica- 
tions from above ; but now so completely removed, as to 
leave no trace whatever as to where or how they could have 
been used. I decidedly lean to the subterranean hypothe- 
sis ; as being not only the most mysterious, but the most 
reasonable: for I cannot believe that any Landschaden of 
them all would have contrived his castle in such a sort, as 
to have rendered scaling-ladders necessary, for his own 
entrances and exits to and from his tower of strength. 

There were several other particulars, in this wild old 
fortalice, that strangely awakened our curiosity ; and more 
still in its situation, that excited our admiration. Had I time 
and money, ad libitum^ I" should like to enter into a nego- 
tiation with the present lord of the land, for the purchase of 
this sight, and the old stones which stand upon it ; for I could 
make, 1 think, so rarely sweet a dwelling of it, that no Eng- 
lish friend, wandering between Heidelberg and Stuttgard, 
but would like to pay me a visit there. 

Wishing to pursue our way to the woods, we contented 
ourselves with a distant glance of the smaller castle, which 
stands nearer the town, and immediately followed the up- 
ward path leading into the forest, which overhangs the road 
to Neckersteinach. When seen from below, this forest ap- 
pears too thick to enter; and the ruins, which look out from 
amidst it, seem to be perched upon unapproachable cliffs; but 
the beautiful zigzag track we now took led us gradually 
higher and higher ; till, at length, we found ourselves, not 
only on a level with, but above, the first ruin. It was, how- 
ever, only from thence we could approach it; and, even so, 
the way, if not dangerous, was difficult. Thorns and bram- 
bles were to be braved ; and the last descent upon it could 



WESTERN GERMANY. 159 

only be performed by scrambling down three or four feet. 
This done, we came upon a bit of close-shorn turf; — kept 
thus neatly, either by the scythe, or cropped by the wild 
animals of the forest. This had been the fortress of the 
redoubtable Landschaden, and we were therefore determined 
to enter it ; but, from the point we had reached, there were 
no means of getting into the only chamber that remained 
entire, except by crawling, on all-fours, through a breach in 
the wall. This we performed, with the proper degree of 
antiquarian enthusiasm, and found ourselves in a very inte- 
resting dungeon, from whence there was no exit, save by 
the self-same hole through which we had entered. 

So far, we had gained but little by our noble daring ; but, 
having crawled out again, we found one or two spots among 
the heaps of fallen stones, which had once formed the bul- 
wark of the knight of Landschaden, so singularly well 
placed for commanding a look-out up the river, and down 
the river, and across to the old frowning Tilsberg, that we 
understood why this one, at least, of the three independent 
bergs was necessary for the protection of their chief. 

Here, again, we found a tower not to be entered but by 
scaling or undermininsr — and a solid tower it is. We were 
told that the stones, of which it was constructed, were covet- 
ed by some person in the neighbourhood for the purposes of 
building ; but it was found that the Jabour of separating 
them from each-other would be greater thaa that of hewing 
materials from one of the neighbouring quarries. From 
these dark fragments, we scrambled our way up again to the 
mountain-path, which now led, by nearly a level terrace, to 
the fourth castle. This, too, is utterly in decay ; but the 
platform before it, looking down a tremendous precipice, is 
-occupied as a garden by a poor m.an, who has made his 
dwelling among the ruins. 

At this point, we decided that our party should separate 
for an hour before dinner ; that none might iuterfere with 

the occupation of the others. Mr. H , having spied out 

some spot, which he thought more beautiful still, to sketch 
from, set ofi' in that direction. My son mounted up, ham- 
mer in hand, to the summit of the rocky heights .above our 
head. And I turned back^ to scribble in my note-book, at 
a point where I thought I could rest greatly to my satisfac- 



160 BELGIUM AND 

tion ; and where my companions promised to join me. I 
was not, however, quite alone. My little guide sat on a 
neighbouring stone, with his elbow resting on his knee ; 
looking down upon the river, and its boats, the town, and its 
castles, with an air of most happy idleness. A little adven- 
ture occurred, while securing his services, which made me 
look on his contented face with peculiar pleasure. On set- 
ting off from the inn, this little fellow stepped up, cap in 
hand, to make an offer of himself, as our guide to the various 
ruins. I have constantly found that these little local urchins 
are excellent in that capacity. They know every myste- 
rious hole and cranny ; and have a marvellous talent of 
helping out their words, in answer to our imperfect German 
inquiries, with most amusing and expressive grimaces ; — so 
we set off without asking for any other. The young rogue 
testified his satisfaction, by every imaginable demonstration 
of glee. He smiled, he laughed, he bowed, as he scampered 
on before us ; but, ere we had gone fifty yards, a boy, more 
than twice his age, presented himself, and, pushing aside the 
little one, began to chatter forth his own information, with 
an air of great importance. We wished to get rid of him, 
but it was impossible, and we proceeded with our double 
escort. On reaching the top of the ridge, from whence the 
Steinach becomes visible, the little fellow stepped eagerly 
forward to point out the beautiful valley, and its bright clear 
brook. This was more than the senior could bear ; and 
seizing upon his rival, with no gentle gripe, he thrust him 
rudely back. The gay smiles of the poor boy gave place to 
a burst of tears; whereupon I instantly found German enough 
to make my election clearly understood : '* Nein geld fiir 
sie,'^ was sufficient to make the elder stalk off, and my little 
man remained master of the field. I never witnessed a pret- 
tier ebullition of happiness than this triumph produced. He 
has bowed his merry head every time I have looked at him; 
gathered every flower in our path to present to me; and, in 
short, made me feel exceedingly well pleased with myself, 
for having protected the w^eak against the strong. 

After enjoying, for about an hour, the beautiful seat I had 
chosen, our man of science, and our man of art returned, 
and we all repaired together to our inn. What the little, 
remote town of Neckersteinach can have to do with a ball- 



WESTERN GERMANY. 161 

room, 1 cannot imagine ; but our very good dinner vvas set 
forth in d. saal, of excellent dimensions for a waltz of fifty 
couple, with a fine, glittering, glass chandelier, suspended in 
the middle of it. It required some resolution to leave this 
airy room, with its double range of beautiful windows, to 
plunge again into the sunshine ; and still more, to decide 
upon climbing the almost perpendicular side of theTilsberg, 
in order to examine the singular buildings on its top. I 
mustered courage, however, for the undertaking; and cross- 
ed the Necker, to the bright green meadow on its opposite 
shore. Had I been quite aware how very long this walk 
up the Tilsberg would have been, I should probably have 
requested my companions to undertake it without me ; yet 
I gloried in the enterprise, when it was achieved ; both from 
the satisfaction of having performed a difficult task, and for 
the strange, wild, desolate aspect of the curious place we had 
reached. The view was most magnificent. We looked 
down upon the ruined castles, and their little heights, as if 
they had been toys ; and the valley of the Necker spread 
itself, like a map, for several miles, on both sides. As to 
the town itself, and the ruins of its immense castle, it would 
be very difficult to give any idea of either. Their form and 
position are very singular. The town is so nearly in ruins, 
and the few hovels, which continue to be inhabited, are so 
extremely wretched in appearance, that I should think they 
would, at no very distant period, be as utterly forsaken by 
the peasants, who still cling to them, as the castle has been 
by the knight who held it. Yet, few and poor as the inha- 
bitants are, they have still a decent little Catholic church ; 
and their piety shows itself by many tiny offerings to the 
Virgin, pinned about her shrine. A few Inches of narrow 
ribbon, or a scrap of muslin, or silk, had not been thought 
too paltry to ofier, or too worthless to accept ; and, though 
flowers could not be found round their desolate dwellings, 
they had plucked green branches from the forest which 
clothes the isolated hill, and with these the altar was deco- 
rated. The only dwelling in the place, which appeared cal- 
culated to be a shelter for man, was a small tenement, close 
to the church : it was in no respect superior to the cottages 
which poor men inhabit in the world below ; but, amidst 
the ruins of Tilsberg, it had an air of superiority, which 

21 



162 ^ BELGIUM AND 

led US to imagine, that, if there were a priest in the place, 
he must dwell there. We judged rightly. On applying at 
the door, for permission to enter the church, it was the cure 
himself who answered us ; and who had the politeness to 
unlock the door, and show us the little all it contained. He 
informed us, however, that this lonely spot was not his 
dwelling-place ; but that he came once or twice a week to 
perform mass, and to administer to the spiritual wants of the 
poor people. 

On the whole, though I am certainly pleased to have seen 
this very remarkable village, I do not recommend the expe- 
dition to my travelling readers ; particularly if they be la- 
dies, for it is a most fatiguing one. Let them contemplate 
Tilsberg from the lovely woods of Neckersteinach ; and 
they will see enough of its singular position to gratify their 
curiosity, without paying the penalty of so much weariness. 

When preparing for our return, we got outside the walls, 
and were obliged to cling round them, almost as cautiously 
as if walking on the parapet of a house ; so completely does 
the exterior of the town reach the edge of the small table- 
land on which it is built, in one direction only is there an 
approach less precipitous, and this is on the side farthest 
from the Necker. 

While recrossing the river on our return, we were much 
struck by the beautiful appearance of the Steinach brook, 
where it runs into the Necker. I have seen the clear Ohio 
join the muddy Mississippi ; and, still more to the purpose, 
I have seen that turbid stream rush among the bright blue 
waves of the Mexican gulf; and, in both instances, there is 
a very tardy mixture of their waters ; — but the pertinacious 
purity of the sparkling little Steinach is more remarkable 
than either. It flows gaily and swiftly through the gentle 
descent of its own valley ; but, just where it joins the 
Necker, it comes down with a vehemence which carries it 
pure and pellucid, for a longer distance than I could have 
believed possible, before it is stained and lost in the stronger 
and coarser stream. 

We greatly enjoyed the cool evening drive back to 
Heidelberg. It had all that beautiful variety of light and 
shade which a brilliant sunset gives, in a region of high cliffs 
and deep valleys. 



WESTERN GERMANT. 165 

very little fancy might enable one to believe in their having 
been petrified, lace and all, as they were stepping down from 
the balcony above. The ivy around these figures has been 
very skilfully cut; and they appear to be pushing it aside to 
enable them to look down upon the terrace. 

This part of the structure is called par excellence '^ the 
Great Tower ;^' and in it was the famous banqueting-hall of 
Frederick V. On a tablet of stone placed between the two 
Electors is an inscription, of which the following is a trans- 
lation: — 

" Lewis, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Elector and Duke 
of Bavaria, erected thi? tower, and finished it in 1583. 

"Frederick V., Count Palatine of the Rhine, Elector, 
Vicar of the Holy Roman Empire, and Duke of Bavaria, 
pulled down the upper part of this tower, rebuilt, and vaulted 
it; and added thirty-three feet to the height of the banquet- 
ing-hall, after having removed the column which supported 
the roof, without any damage or derangement whatever. 
Finished in the year 1619." This magnificent tower is con- 
nected with the building, which contains the chapel, by a 
simple, but very noble range of apartments, called '^ the Eng- 
lish Buildings." These were erected in 1612, by Frederick 
v., for the especial use of his wife, the Princess Elizabeth 
of England, daughter of James I. The windows of two lofty 
stories are still remaining; and this enormous wall, seen to- 
gether with the mighty tower, which flanks it, against the 
clear, blue sky of Germany, conveys an idea of immensity 
and grandeur which cannot be described. Nature and art 
both appear gigantic here; for, turning to the right, a hill of 
such sudden steepness rises to the clouds, while the trees 
which cover it are so noble, and the masses of rock starting 
forth from among them so enormous, that the style of the 
building seems chosen on purpose to be in keeping with the 
stupendous features of the landscape. 

Many parts of the castle, have reference, by their history, 
or by inscriptions, to the Princess Elizabeth of England. 
Over the arch of what must have been a very noble gateway, 
leading to this terrace, is the following inscription: — 

" Frederick the Fifth to his dear wife Elizabeth, 
in the year 1615." 



166 BELGIUM AND 

I have now got into the very deepest recesses of the ruin. 
1 have climbed up one very long spiral staircase, and sounded 
my way down another. After this, I had the good fortune 
to find a third, darker and narrower than either; and, having 
mastered it, I found myself amidst a labyrinth of paths, run- 
ning along the tops of the walls of Otho Henry's palace. For- 
tunately they are, one and all, broad enough to make a very 
respectable promenade. Moreover, many of them are guard- 
ed by bushes springing from the mortar; and along others 
a slight garde-fou has been placed, that curiosity might not 
lead to danger, nor fear to disappointment. After threading 
these paths till, spite of the rails and the bushes, I found my- 
self sufficiently giddy, and perfectly bewildered, I at length 
found my way to what my map tells me is the '^Tour de la 
Bibliotheque:"— and here I write, seated oh what seems the 
hearthstone of Frederick the Second, who is said to have 
built this splendid chamber to contain the famous library of 
the Palatinate ; — one of the most valuable collections then 
existing. The room must, 1 think, have been half a circle. 
It has eight large windows, among which it is difficult to 
select that which commands the most enchanting view. 
Some look down the side of the hill, over terraces and covered 
ways, orchards, and forest trees, to the river, the town, and 
its pigmy population. Others open upon the towering 
Geeisberg: — and it is not without an effort that" you can get 
sight of the blue sky above it. From one of them are seen 
the noble range of windows at the back of Otho Henry's 
palace, behind the famous Rittersaal ; and beyond these again, 
is the octagon tower, which is the highest fragment left; and 
which is visible at many points where no other part of the 
ruins can be seen. The floor of this room is now, perhaps, 
more softly carpeted than in the days of its greatness; for a 
well-kept, green, grass turf covers it. A stunted, leafless 
shrub stands in the centre; just on the spot where, formerly, 
some massy oaken table probably supported the precious 
manuscripts and illuminated missals, when they were brought 
forth to regale the eyes of the learned visitants to this princely 
library. The noble Elector himself must have intended to 
use this room as a favourite apartment; for the building is so 
arranged as to communicate, by a small vaulted closet, with 
the chamber of Otho's palace, called 'Mhe Elector's Bed- 



WESTERN GERMANY. 167 

room;*" and from this closet a little spiral staircase leads to 
the ground-floor. A subterranean passage comnaunicates, 
from a point near this tower, with an entrance at a very con- 
siderable distance in the side of the Jettenbuhl. 

****** 

Henry has found out my retreat; he assures me that the 
hour of dinner is fullv come, and that we must find some 
spot of transcendent beauty, whereat to assemble for the 
purpose of making our repast. The only difficulty will be 
in choosing among such vast variety. I think, at least, an 
hundred different parties might find spots of first-rate attrac- 
tion, where they might place themselves, without interfering 
with each other. 

vt* 7t^ vp Tf* VP Vf* 

After due consideration, we have decided upon the match- 
less northern terrace, outside the chapel, for our dinner 
station. It overhangs the town and river, and looks over 
them to the Heiligenberg; as one good neighbour does to 
another, across a narrow street. Here, in the deep shade of 
Frederick the Fourth's lofty palace, — with one stone bench 
for our table, and another for our seat, — we have spread our 
repast. It is a banqueting-hall which might content the 
most fastidious prince on earth. 

vf" ^ tF tF vP tF 

Having eaten, and looked about us for at least one long, 
but not unsatisfactory hour, we went in search of the person 
who keeps the keys of the chapel, the picture gallery, the 
chamber of the Great Tun, and various other curiosities, 
by the exhibition of which she contrives to get a living. 
The chapel of St. Udalrich is the part of the castle which has 
undergone the latest reparation ; and it was used as late as 
'the year 1803. It makes part of Frederick the Fourth's 
palace, and is large enough to have assorted well with the 
dignity of the entire building ; but now it has only its bare 
walls and naked altar to show, and possesses little other in- 
terest than what is derived from its being part of the ruins 
of Heidelberg. 

There is, however, one strange object there, — wherefore, 
or by whom placed, I know not, — but it deserves mention, 
were it only for the startling effect it produced on us all. 
On entering the chapel we passed by the side of an old con- 



168 BELGIUM AND 

fessional, placed near the door ;— it had neither dignity nor 
beauty of any kind to attract the eye, and it was quite un- 
heeded. On reaching the altar, we turned to examine the 
extent of the building; and, at the same moment, the eyes 
of each of us were drawn to the figure of a pale old man, 
who, dressed in the habit of a monk, sat in the confessional 
we had passed. There was something so desolate in the 
look of the place, and so unearthly in the livid hue of his 
complexion, that I almost shuddered as I looked at him. 
He seemed to bend his head meekly towards us, as in salu- 
tation; and a strong feeling of interest and compassion was 
excited in us all ; for it appeared as if he alone had survived 
the universal wreck in which all around him had perished, and 
that, faithful to his duty even to the last — for his hollow eye 
and sunken cheek showed that life was fast ebbing — he still 
held his post, to minister comfort to the repentant spirits 
who might yet hover near to confess their sins. The wo- 
man, who had led us into the chapel, watched us earnestly 
as we continued to gaze upon him ; and, after the silence of 
a moment, said, " Go up to him." 

We all obeyed her; and it was not till we found ourselves 
close to the confessional that we discovered this excellent 
mockery to be of wax. 

From the chapel, we passed on to a building which has 
the honour of containing the Great Tun of Heidelberg. 
This celebrated cask is certainly very large ; and the idea, 
that it was wont in days of yore to be filled with Rhine wine, 
approaches to the sublime ; — but, before I could fully appre- 
ciate its dignity, Henry quite destroj^ed the efiect of all its 
greatness, by exclaiming, — " A dozen of them might dance 
in Meux's great vat." 

We next visited a queer collection of pictures, kept in a 
room over the great gateway. It consists, almost entirely, 
of portraits of the princes and princesses of the Palatinate, 
to whom the castle has at different periods belonged. After 

we had sufficiently examined these, Mr. H returned to 

his drawing, and Henry and I set off in search of vaulted 
dungeons, and subterranean passages. Of these we found 
many more than we could follow, or even enter. The par- 
ticular spot which, more than any other, possesses this kind 
of interest, is, perhaps, that beneath the stupendous ruin of 



WESTERN GERMANY. 169 

the circular tower which fronts the Geissberg. The man- 
ner in whicli the upper half of this tower now lies extended 
on the ground, — the solid mass of its enormous walls still 
preserving their circular form, while the lower half yawns 
beside it, — presents one of the greatest charms of the whole 
ruin ; and the vaults beneath are in the very highest style of 
dark and dreary mystery. It was quite impossible,, how- 
ever, even for Henry, to penetrate quite as far as might 
have been wished for the gratification of that curiosity, which 
on such occasions, grows by what it feeds on ; but, on the 
whole, we were well satisfied with the result of the accu- 
racy of our researches, so far as they had proceeded ; and, 
when the failing light admonished us to desist, we con- 
gratulated each other upon having dived farther into the 
hidden recesses of Heidelberg than it was likely any other 
travellers had done before us. 

When we returned to the front of the Rittersaal, where 

we had left Mr. H , we found him in conversation 

with a French artist, who has devoted the last twenty-three 
years of his life to making drawings, and superintending 
engravings, of all the most interesting parts of the ruin. 
Some of these, especially such as give the detail of Otho 
Henry's superb facade, are admirable. 

This gentleman, by name M. Charles de Graimbergj gave 
us many amusing anecdotes of occurrences which had passed • 
under- his notice, during his long residence among these 
noble relics. He has had the opportunity of witnessing 
the impressions produced Iry them on a great variety of tra- 
vellers of all nations : and this, I thit^k, must have left on his 
memory a sort of patchwork recollection of high and low 
feeling — of extravagant enthusiasm and cold indifference — 
which may enable him to judge of the average taste of man- 
kind better than most people. 

I believe it was this gentleman who told me that a set of 
learned and most energetic English antiquaries, having wor- 
shipped these remains of German magnificence, during the 
day, returned to them, in the darkness of night, armed with 
sledge hammers, and testified their love of art by severing 
sundry fragments of stone from the beautiful ornaments of 
the Rittersaal. 

Notwithstanding the pleasure they had given us, our af- 

22 



170 BELGIUM AND 

fection for the caryatides, the corbels, and the cornices, did 
not lead us to go this length ; and we left the ruin of Heid- 
elberg, carrying away with us nothing, save the remem- 
brance of its surpassing beauty. 

When we returned to our inn w^e were too tired to do 
anything but sit still and drink coffee ; but the evening was 
beautiful, and, till a late hour, the streets were thronged 
with students, who gave us in passing many delightful spe- 
cimens of their skill in singing. One large party, who per- 
haps had been quaffing some few flasks of Rhenish, in honour 
of the belles of Heidelberg, came carolling down the street, 
with such a preponderating force of lungs that all weaker 
strains gave way before them ; and then we had a very beau- 
tiful example of one of the most characteristic features of 
Germany. All those, who met this long array of wassail- 
lers stretching across the street and suffering nobody to be 
heard but themselves, instead of breaking their harmony, as 
they- broke their line in passing through it, joined the joy- 
ous chorus; with tune, time, and taste so admirable as to 
produce an effect inconceivably delightful. This did not 
happen once only, or twice or thrice ; but, as they pursued 
their walk through the street, every party they met joined 
voices, in most sweet and skilful accord, to the strain they 
were singing. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 171 



CHAPTER XII. 



Route to Carlsrhue— Seats for Travellers— Wiesloch — Lutheran Hymn^ — 
Avenue of Poplars — Carlsruhe — Palace Garden — Opera — Baden— 
Chabert's— Old and New Castles — Promenade — Gambling- Rooms. 

The road from Heidelberg to Carlsruhe has little beauty, 
beyond what a mountainous outline in the distance can give 
it. For many miles in this direction all the attraction is 
behind you ; and, in truth, when turning from the Berg- 
strasse and the Neckar, it would be hardly possible for any 
road to appear beautiful. 

There is one feature remarkable in all the roads of Ger- 
many which I do not remember in any other country. On 
every great route that we travelled, we observed benches 
placed by the road-side for such as journey on foot. These 
are generally found under the shade of a large tree; and, in 
many instances, they are furnished" with the additional luxu- 
ry of a bowery shelter of branches, carefully twisted into an 
alcove. This may appear to be a matter of very little con- 
sequence, and hardly worth mentioning; but it is strongly 
indicative of the temper of the country, if I may so express 
myself: and, as I know not by whose hand, or at whose 
cost, they are reared, I am disposed to believe the feeling, 
that causes their formation, as universal as the accommo- 
dation they offer. 

' We baited ourselves and our horses at Weisloch, at the 
distance of two leagues and a half from Heidelberg, where 
we had a very excellent breakfast, at a very low price. 
While it was preparing we walked to the Church, which we 
entered on hearing from it the full and solemn notes of a 
Lutheran hymn. The little building was quite full, and I 
never beheld a congregation of such severe austerity of look 
and demeanour. The dress, both of men and women, was 
just such as the fanatics of Cromwell's day might have sanc- 
tioned ; and the whole scene realized, not the heau^ but the 



172, BELGIUM AND 

triste ideal of a method ist assembly. Nothing could less 
resemble the reformed church at Francfort than this harsh- 
looking conventicle. Tljere was no clergj^men among 
them, nor any one whom we could suppose likely to fill the 
office. The men and women stood in separate rows, aii 
singing with the whole strength of their lungs. I have no 
doubt but that our sudden and unauthorized intrusion might 
have somewhat increased the austere expression so remarka- 
ble on every face : but, in spile of the scowling brows that 
greeted «s, 1 gave the poor people credit for real piety in 
thus assembling to chant their morning hymn;, for as the 
day was not Sunday, nor marked for any religious obser- 
vance that we could discover, this meeting, even without a 
minister to call them together, spoke plainly of a strong re- 
ligious feeling, and had some wise and Christian-minded 
divine been among them, to soften the temper of their zealj 
the effect would have been perfect. 

We passed an hour at Bruchsal, which was formerly the 
abode of the Prince Bishop of Spires. There is a handsome 
castle of residence, which does not appear, however, to be 
in very good repair. The church of St. Peter has some 
handsome monuments of the last Bishops of Spires. But. 
the thing that struck us as most remarkable in the little 
town of Bruchsal, was the number and abundance of its 
beautifully clear fountains. 

Though I am not in general an admirer of poplars, it was 
impossible not to confess the dignity and beauty of the ave- 
nue composed of them, which foi^ms the approach to Carls- 
ruhe. It is a league in length ; and the height, size, and 
regular growth of the trees render it magnificent and strik- 
ing in no common degree. 

Carlsruhe, from being the chief residence of the Grand 
Duke, is considered as the capital of Baden. It is a small, 
well-built, gay-looking town, and has all the attraction which 
the actual residence of a German prince is sure to give to the 
spot where he holds his court. 

Though many of the grand ducal residences may nearly 
equal that of Carlsruhe in size, and the one at Manheim 
greatly exceeds it ; yet this alone has that air of finished 
splendour and uniform elegance which indicates the presence 
of the prince. The town is on a plain, sheltered to the 



WESTERN GERMANY. 173 

Tiorthwest by the forest of Hartwold ; and the castle is so 
placed as to form the centre of a circle, of which its beauti- 
ful groves and gardens occupy one half, and the town the 
other. - 

The Place Roy ale is a very splendid area. Innumerable 
orange-trees border the noble walks, that traverse it from 
the town to the palace in various directions; reservoirs and 
fountains adorn it; and the palace spreading its elegant semi- 
circle on one side, with the church, and other handsome 
buildings flanking it on the other, produce a most brilliant 
coup d''oeil. 

On applying at the great gates of the palace for leave- to 
see the apartments, the sentry entered one of the lodges, and 
returned with an officer, who appeared to be on guard there, 
and who very civilly gave us the permission we asked. • A 
large party of English had entered just before us, and we all 
passed tagether through the state rooms. These are ex- 
tremely elegant ; and ample enough, without rivalling the 
endless succession of apartments at Manheim, to receive a 
very numerous society. 

After seeing all the rooms that are opened to strangers, 
we mounted to the top of the central tower, which, I pre- 
sume, must have been erected solely for the sake of the sin- 
gular view it commands. The objects which form the hori- 
zon here, as throughout the whole of this extensive plain, 
are the Qdenwald and the Bergstrasse to the east, the Vosges 
to the west, and the heights of the Black Forest in the 
southern distance. But the peculiar features of the land- 
scape are those immediately below the eye. The small but 
handsome town, with its many noble buildings, occupying 
the space to the very verge of the woods, which stretch to- 
'Wards the eastern hills, is seen on one side ; and the superb 
gardens of the palace, with their exquisite flowers, their 
shrubberies, and- their lawns, losing themselves in the dark 
forest, that seems to form a line along the base of the 
Vosges, on the other. What renders this bird's-eye view so 
singularly pleasing is, that the whole landscape, noble as its 
features are, has the air of being arranged expressly to fur- 
nish forth the lovely panorama that surrounds this lordly 
tower. The Rhine seems to twist and wind on purpose to 
show its beauty to the lord of the land through whicii it 



174 BELGIUM AND 

flows; and, like a shining snake in the hand of an enchanter, 
converts its vastness and its strength into grace and plea- 
santness. The forest spreads its inviting shade beyond the 
bright and sunny streets — and the distant hills bend round 
the picture as if to frame it in. Every object within sight 
contributes, in a greater or less degree, to the beauty of the 
whole; and nothing obtrudes itself, in any direction, that 
one could wish away. 

Roads from every point of the compass concentrate, as at 
Versailles, making the palace the centre of a star. Some 
of these are seen stretching to a great distance over the plain, 
or cutting a narrow line through the trees. 

Having walked again and again round the gallery that 
hangs over this splendid view, we wandered into the gar- 
dens, and passed the remainder of along morning in examin- 
ing the multitude of exquisite flowers and shrubs with which 
it abounds. All these are carefully and scientifically labelled; 
and the high perfection to which they grow, their profuse 
abundance, their beautiful arrangement, and the exquisite 
odour which they exhale, render the privilege of wandering 
among them one of no trifling value. Immediately under 
the windows of the palace, the assemblage of blossoms was 
the most brilliant I ever remember to have seen. J have 
before mentioned the passion for flowers, which appeared to 
me so remarkable throughout the country^ and from their 
profuse abundance here, it should seem that the royal mis- 
tress of this prettiest of palaces, though not " native there 
or to the manner born,'^ loves them as. well as if she were. 
The pre-eminence of the Carlsruhe flower-gardens beyond 
those of her other palaces, seemed to mark her. presence 
among them, as a silken banner, when floating from a kingly 
tower, shows that the monarch is within its walls; — and cer- 
tainly no lovlier ensign ever gave its gay colours to the 
breeze. The tints are of heaven's own dyes.* 



* A recent traveller. Sir Arthur Brooke Faulkner, in speaking of this 
residence of the Grand Duke of Baden, says, " The palace is not more 
imposing in appearance than a second-rate gentleman's villa in England." 
As this statement differs considerably from that of the text, which never- 
theless was written on the spot, with the intention of describing it-faith- 
fully, the author must leave it to those, who may chance to read both, and 
also to have visited Garlsruhe, to decide between them. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 1S3 

as close to its blaze as if Christmas had taken place of the 
dog-days. 

The old woman gave us a smiling welcome, and I never 
remember to have enjoyed the sight and feel of " crackling 
fagots" more completely. On looking round I observed 
sundry leaders of donkeys, my own among the number, re- 
posing in odd corners of this singular cabaret : their beasts 
stood at no great distance, and formed no bad addition to the 
picture. An old chair was drawn out from its hiding-place 
behind a ledge of rock to do me honour, and seated in this, 
1 watched with exceeding satisfaction the process of boil- 
ing some water in a little brass skillet, that looked as if it 
came out of one of Ostade's pictures, as well as the kind old 
frau who watched it. At length she presented to me the 
result of her exertions in my behalf in a steaming cup, which 
contained neither Rhine wine, nor any other species of nec- 
tar, but something which she called ponch, and which at 
that moment I thought infinitely better. 

The two hours that remained of our morning were to 
be devoted to the Residence, and the chambers of the secret 
tribunal beneath it ; yet we did not leave this grotesque but 
picturesque retreat, till Mr. H. had made a sketch of the old 
woman and her grand-daughter, her rocky shed, and her 
altar-like hearthstone. This done, I remounted my donkey ; 
and in less than half the time it had taken us to crawl up, 
we reached the gates of the chateau. The only adventure 
that befell us on the way, was encountering two young 
military-looking Germans, both mounted on donkeys, and 
both smoking from pipes of such prodigious length, that 
they all but touched the ground under the feet of their lowly 
monture. They rode closely and lovingly side by side, one 
'tube taking an angle to the east, and the other to the west. 
We met them at a point where the road was narrow; the 
rock, which had been cut through to make it, rising on 
one side, while something very like a precipice fell on the 
other; and my part of the adventure consisted in so choosing 
my path, and adjusting myself in the saddle, as not to run 
a-tilt against either meerschaum. My donkey-boy, perceiv- 
ing the difficulty, seized my rein, and unceremoniously set 
the head of the animal in a line that appeared to lead s^vy 
decidedly over the edge of the precipice. Some sign or 



184 BELGIUM AND .: ^ 

sound of disapprobation probably escaped me; for one of the 
gentlemen immediately dismounted, and disposed of himself, 
his pipe, and his donkey, in such a manner as to leave me 
room to proceed. And here, as I pass him, I must observe 
that the phlegmatic slowness, for which the Germans are so 
celebrated, can, I think,- scarcely be attributed to them at 
the present day. Their long incorporation with their lively 
neighbours of France may perhaps account for this ; but 
certainly, as far as my observation went, I saw nothing ap- 
proaching to slowness or heaviness among the younger part 
of the population: they may perhaps carry a little more bal- 
last than their neighbours, but it rather steadies than impedes 
their movement. 

On reaching the gates of the chateau, our curiosity was 
drawn to the examination of the armorial bearings engraved 
on a stone above the gate. There was no part of this noble 
shield with which we were not familiar, from having con- 
stantly seen some of the bearings with which it is charged 
at every point of our progress through the country, either 
on princely tombs, or sculptured gateways; and we now 
clearly traced their connexion with some remnants of heral- 
dic carving stiil visible at the castle above. 

A lively black-eyed Alsatian girl acted as our guide 
through the castle. She was by far the most intelligent 
person of her profession that I ever met; and we had much 
amusing conversation with her. In the old picture gallery 
particularly, she dilated with considerable savoir on the differ- 
ent alliances of the Baden family. The whole of the castle is 
extremely curious; but what remains of the habitable partis 
far from superb, though there is an air of old-fashioned dig- 
nity in the apartments which are fitted up, and oi'ten used 
as a summer residence by thS Dowager Grand Duchess Ste- 
phanie. The view from them is magnificent: but I doubt 
if all the beauty without could make me forget the fearful 
memorials within the walls. Her Highness was at Rome at 
the time of our visit— we therefore saw the whole suite ; 
and I almost m.arvelled at the strong nerves of the princess, 
as I contemplated her gloomy and remote bed-room. 

Having again reached the interior gate of the castle, our 
pretty guide stopped— "Et maintenant vous allez voir les 
cachots?'^ said she, as if doubting my intention: " Assure- 



WESTERN GERMANY. 185 

ment, Mademoiselle," was our reply. ^^Attendez done," 
said she; and left us for a few moments on the steps before 
the great door. Returning with a lantern and huge key, 
she pronounced the words "Suivez moi!' in a tone of much 
comic solemnity. We did so, to an outer door in a tower 
which flanks the building; on her opening which, a hand- 
some spiral stone staircase, both ascending and descending, 
became visible. She went down, and we followed ; but I 
felt something very like disappointment at this unmysterious 
approach to chambers that I almost dreaded to behold. 
These stairs led to a large vaulted room, sufficiently lighted 
by grated windows placed high in the wall. "This," said 
our guide, "and the two chambers beyond, were formerly 
the retreat of the women in time of war." The two other 
rooms were in the same style; being all vaulted, and looking 
very like a prison, from the strong iron bars which defended 
the windows. From these we passed into a chamber con- 
taining the relics of a noble Roman swimming-bath: around 
it may be traced, without the slightest difficulty or danger 
of blundering, the whole arrangement for the accommoda- 
tion of these luxurious bathers. The aperture, by which the 
hot stream entered, is not far from the present principal hot 
spring of Baden, Large stone reservoirs are placed in an 
outer room, from whence cold water was conveyed to tem- 
per the heat of the spring, which was doubtless then, as now, 
of much too high a temperature for bathing. 

That the whole of this part of the structure is of Roman 
workmanship no one doubts; but of the dungeons to which 
they lead, different opinions are entertained. The one most 
generally received, I believe, is that the dungeons are not of 
Roman, but of German construction, and of a date greatly 
anterior to that of the dwelling erected over them; having 
been probably constructed as an appendage to the castle 
above, with which they are connected by a subterranean 
passage. It is said that the first castle built on this spot 
(afterwards almost entirely destroyed by fire) was raised in 
the thirteenth century; and that it was inhabited, in times 
of peace, by the Margrave; who still preserved his more 
powerful stronghold at the Alt Schloss on the mountain: 
but it is perfectly evident, from the construction of the pre- 

24 



186 " BELGIUM AND 

sent building, that a part of it, at least, is of a date coeval 
with the use of these terrific caverns. 

Having reached another small vaulted room, beyond that 
in which the reservoirs are situated, our guide stopped; and 
told us we were here to take leave of the daylight, which a 
continuance of grated windows had let in upon us, through 
all the chambers we had hitherto passed. She then sought 
.and found several candles, which she placed in our hands; 
saying, that the passages we were al^out to enter were such 
us to render it highly dangerous to run any risk of being 
without a light. She then unlocked a small door, and de- 
scending two steps, we entered a narrow passage, which ter- 
minated in a square vaulted room. The aspect of the pas- 
sage, and still more the dismal horror of this vault, removed 
all fear that I should not find the dungeon terrible enough. 
It is quite impossible that stone walls can convey a feeling 
of more hopeless desolation. From this square room 
branched more than one opening; but the utter darkness, 
and the irregularity of arrangement in the horrid cells they 
led to, prevented our being able to conceive any very cor- 
rect idea of their relative position. 

On reaching the termination of one of these passages, we 
were stopped by a door of stone a foot thick, hewn in one 
piece out of the granite rock. This door stood ajar, and 
our guide opened it, by thrusting a thick stick, that lay near, 
into the aperture. She then asked Henry to assist her, and 
between them they contrived, by using the stick as a lever, 
to move the heavy mass sufficiently to enable us to pass 
it. "This is the first prison," said she; and paused long 
enough to let us see its dismal horrors. Utterly dark, and 
totally without ventilation, it struck damp and cold both to 
body and soul. 

" This is the second," she continued, as she passed through 
another massive door of rock, constructed in the same man- 
ner as the former ; and again a dismal vault opened before 
us. In this manner she led us into ten distinct dungeons ; 
some of these are hewn out of the solid rock, as well as the 
passages which lead to them, and others are constructed of 
immense blocks of stone. 

After passing through several passages, which I should be 
loath to travel without a guide, we reached a chamber of 



WESTERN GERMANY. 187 

larger dimensions, the aspect and atmosphere of which might 
have chilled a lion's heart; our guide paused as she passed 
the threshold, and said, " Void la charnbre de la question.'''' 
Many massive iron rings, fastened into the walls of this room, 
give indications, suiFiciently intelligible, of the mode in which 
the questionings were wont to be carried on there: and so 
strongly did visions of the past rise up before me, that, with 
the strange clinging to horror which makes so puzzling a 
part of our nature, I remained gazing on these traces of ven- 
geance and of wo, till our lively Alsatian declared she would 
wait no longer. 

One of the openings, that led from this frightful room, 
terminated at a wall,^ along which another passage ran at 
right angles. Exactly at the corner were the turn was 
made, the footing of solid earth or rock, that we had hitherto 
trod, was changed for a flooring of planks, which, if not quite 
loose, were yet so placed as to leave considerable interstices 
between them. She suffered us to pass over these, and when 
we had entered the door-way, that stood at right angles, she 
stopped, saying, " VoiJa ! this is the oubliette ;" and pointed, 
as she spoke, to the planks we had passed. 

" And what is the oubliette?'^ w^as the natural question ; 
though the untranslatable word had already conveyed the 
idea of eternal oblivion. 

I suspect that the dark-eyed damsel had studied her 
business with considerable tact; and that the tone, in which 
she answered this question, was not so much the effect of 
emotion, as meant to be the cause of it. 

"It is the fatal baiser de la vierge,^^ she replied ; " when 
a prisoner was sentenced to be forgotten, he was made to 
pass from the judgment-hall through this door: these planks 
,then sunk beneath him, and he was heard of no more.'^ 

The thrilling feeling made up of horror and curiosity, 
which these words excited, induced us all to apply our can- 
dles to a dark space of half a foot wide, which yawned be- 
tween the wall and the boards covering the abyss. Henry 
threw himself across them ; and thrust his candle down to 
the extent of his arm — but all in vain; if darkness can in- 
deed be called visible, he saw it, but nothing else. 

The girl smiled as she watched his vain efforts! ^^ You. 
are not the first I have seen," said she, " who seemed as if 



188 BELGIUM AND 

they would gladly have torn those boards from under them, 
rather than not see the gulf below — but a little dog, they 
say, managed the matter better than any of you." 

We eagerly inquired her meaning; and she told us a story, 
that I have since seen in print, of an accident that happened 
about thirty years ago. • A gentleman, who came to see the 
dungeons, was followed by a favourite dog: the animal was 
small, and while sniffing about the aperture, contrived to 
squeeze himself through it, and fell with a fearful yell to 
the bottom. The gentleman, who was greatly attached to 
the little creature, had influence enough to obtain permission 
to seek for him. Workmen, carrying lights, were let down 
by ropes; and not only was the little dog restored alive to 
his master, but fragments of garments and of bones, and de- 
tached morsels of a wheel stuck full of knives, were found 
on the spot where he had fallen. 

After listening to this dark history of the pit, on whose 
verge we stood; we followed the narrator to an iron door, 
of curious workmanship, which creaked most hideously 
upon its rusty hinges as she opened it. ^'This," said she, 
" was the hall of judgment ; here the members of the secret 
tribunal assembled to examine the prisoners before their 
doom; and there is the entrance by which they came to it 
from the castle on the hill." As she spoke, she held up 
her light, to show us an opening, high up in the wall, but 
which was closed by stones at the distance of a few feet. 

" Here are traces," she continued, pointing to stones that 
projected at intervals from the walls, " of the seats that were 
placed round for the judges." 

" Has that passage ever been traced from the one end of 
it to the other ?" said I. 

"Oh yes, very often; but not of late years. Part of the 
roof fell, and it was thought dangerous; so it has been closed 
at the two extremities, to prevent mischief." 

We would have given much, and willingly have run some 
trifling risk of broken heads, could we have obtained per- 
mission to enter this curious passage; but it might not be, 
and we turned to retrace our steps. Suddenly, our young 
guide stopped in one of the passages, which appeared connect- 
ed with many of the chambers, and told us to look upwards. 
We did so; and, at a great height above, perceived the light 



WESTERN GERMANY. 191 

irect in both particulars ; and to a looker-on, the melange 
affords considerable amusement. 

I have heard it remarked that people of low station, and 
perfectly uneducated, often show a marvellous tact in dis- 
tinguishing true from false pretensions in those with whom 
they have dealings : and I remember a money-changer at 
Dieppe telling us, that for thirty years he had been in the 
habit of lending money to travellers who had outrun their 
purse ; but that he had never, in any single instance, found 
his discrimination fail him as to who might be trusted. "I 
can read them," said he, *'as plainly as if I had their ban- 
ker's book in my hand." I never doubted the truth of the 
statement, but it was at Baden only that I fully understood 
how legible were the characters of the alphabet by which he 
read them. 

As I neither danced nor played, I had ample leisure du- 
ring the week that we remained at the baths to study this 
alphabet. It is strange that neither mother-wit, nor constant 
effort, though spurred to the task by the sharpest interest, 
and lashed by desperate need, can teach one man to ape what 
comes so easily to another. The outward materials, too, in 
each appear the same. Here are eyes, nose, and mouth, 
broadcloth and satin, moustache, and ribbon at the button- 
hole ; and yet, to the eye that will give itself time to look, 
the gaudy flower, bright and stiff under its case of glass in a 
milliner's window, is not less like the flexile gracefulness of 
a fresh plucked rose, than the very best mimicry of the coun- 
terfeit to the bearing of a gentleman. Whatever they do, 
the fatal test follows them ; and even the best gifts of nature, 
when lavished on the exterior, cannot save them from it. 
The brightest eye will twinkle out some symptom of the 
'coarse vulgarity that lurks within ; and even if the nose be 
proudly arched, or the teeth splendid in their whiteness, 
they still seem to ^' wear them with a difference." 

On no occasion did I watch higher play than on the eve- 
ning of the dress ball. All the best company in Baden 
were assembled, and the birds of prey, whose profession it 
was to watch them, doubtless came armed for the encounter; 
and prepared to " fool them to the top of their bent." 

The following day was Sunday. We passed through the 
public walks on our way to church ; and having time to 



192 BELGIUM AND 

spare, looked into the rooms, which even at that early hour 
had a crowd of people hanging round the gaming tables. 
On our return we entered them again, and then this fright- 
ful scene of madness was at its height. 

I doubt if anything, less than the evidence of the senses, 
can enable any one fully to credit and comprehend the spec- 
tacle that a gaming table offers. I saw women distinguished 
by rank, elegant in person, modest, and even reserved in 
manner, sitting at the rouge et noir table with their rateaux 
and marking cards in their hands; the former to push forth 
their bets, and draw in their winnings; the latter to prick 
down the events of the game. I saw such at different 
hours through the whole of Sunday. To name these is im- 
possible; but I grieve to say that two English women were 
among them. , ' 

There was one of this set, whom I watched day after day 
during the whole period of our stay; with more interest than, 
I believe, was reasonable: for had I studied any other as at- 
tentively, I might have found less to lament. She was young 
— certainly not more than twenty-five — and though not re- 
gularly nor brilliantly handsome, most singularly winning, 
both in person and demeanour. Her dress was elegant, but 
peculiarly plain and simple, A close white silk bonnet and 
gauze veil; a quiet coloured silk gown, with less of flourish 
and frill by the half than any other person; a delicate little 
hand, which when ungloved displa5^ed some handsome rings; 
a jewelled watch of peculiar splendour, and a countenance 
expressive of anxious thoughtfulness, must be remembered 
by many who were at Baden in xlugust, 1833. They must 
remember too, that enter the rooms when they would, morn- 
ing, noon, or night, still they found her, nearly at the same 
place, at the rouge et noir table. Her husband, who had as 
unquestionably the air of a gentleman as she had of a lady, 
though not always close to her, was never very distant. He 
did not play himself; and I fancied, as he hovered near her, 
that his countenance expressed anxiety. But he returned the 
sweet smile, with which she always met his eye, with an an- 
swering smile; and I saw not the slightest indication that he 
wished to withdraw her from the table. There was an ex- 
pression in the upper part of her face, that my blundering 
science would have construed into something very foreign 



WESTERN GERMANY. 193 

to the propensity she showed: but there she sat, hour after 
hour, and day after day; not even allowing the blessed Sab- 
bath, that gives rest to all, to bring it to her — there she sat 
constantly throwing down handfuls of five-franc pieces; and 
sometimes drawing them back again, till her young face grew 
rigid from weariness, and all the lustre of her eye faded into 
a glare of vexed inanity. Alas! alas! is that fair woman a 
mother? God forbid! 

Another figure at the gaming table, which daily drew our 
attention, was a pale, anxious old woman; who seemed no 
longer to have strength to conceal her eager agitation under 
the air of callous indifference, which all practised players en- 
deavour to assume. She trembled, till her shaking hand 
could hardly grasp the instrument with which she pushed or 
withdrew her pieces; the dew of agony stood upon her 
wrinkled brow: yet hour after hour, and day after day, she 
too sat in the enchanted chair. I never saw age and station 
in a position so utterly beyond the pale of respect. I was as- 
sured that she was a person of rank; and my informant added, 
but I trust she was mistaken, that she was an English wo- 
man. 

In the evening of Sunday there was a ball, pas pare, at the 
Conversations Saal. It was one of the three weekly soii^ees 
dansantes, to which all subscribers to this room are admitted. 
We again saw some beautiful waltzing; but the room is less 
calculated to show it off to advantage than the great saloon. 

The only difference the Sunday appears to make at Baden 
IS, that multitudes of the neighbouring peasantry mix them- 
selves with the gay throng on the walks; and diversify the 
scene very agreeably, by their pretty costumes, and light- 
hearted gaiety. The evening was a sultry one, and we passed 
but little of it in the rooms ; but placed ourselves under the 
stately portico, to watch the motley groups that paraded be- 
fore it. Not a single being of them all but seemed to be 
sharing the universal enjoyment. Some were eating ices, 
some were flirting, some walking in gay rows, that obliged 
those less sturdy in their pleasure to give way before them ; 
and some were seated in little knots at the tables near 
us, sipping coffee, and discoursing of all things in heaven 
and on earth. 

As the evening advanced, many of these were drawn, hke 

25 



194 BELGIUM AND 

fragments of straw into a whirlpool, through the door of the 
gambling room. These we saw no more that night enjoy- 
ing the cool breeze; but when we took a parting glance at the 
table, we remarked the same faces, that an hour before looked 
happily at ease, now shrunk into all the pitiful and painful 
expression that avarice and anxiety could give. 

The next day was devoted to seeing the celebrated valley 
of the Mourg; and also Eberstein, a hunting-seat belonging 
to the Grand Duke, which overhangs the river at one of its 
loveliest points. In order to see as much as possible of this 
beautiful part of the country, it is usual to make the excur- 
sion by driving over the mountains to Gernsbach ; proceeding 
thence along the Mourg to Eberstein, and returning through 
its valley to Baden. 

It is in truth a summer day's journey of much fatigue for 
the horses, but of almost unparalleled gratification to the tra- 
veller; and I will venture to say that no one, who has made 
it, will ever forget its magnificent features. The chain of 
hills, over which the road passes, forms the outposts of the 
Black Forest; and partakes of all its dark and solemn wild- 
ness. Having once mastered the Herrnwiesse, the road fol- 
lows an elevated ridge, that connects many heights together; 
and leads in and out through an inconceivable variety of forest 
scenery, for several miles, before it again descends. There 
are points of this bold road, so locked in by blocks of granite, 
and interminable depths of pines, that I almost wondered 
how I got there; but at others, it breaks out again upon the 
hill side, and permits you to look down upon valleys and 
rivulets, cottages and vineyards, so far below that they seem 
like the miniature features of fairy land. 

In one of the wildest passes of this mountain road, having 
left the carriage that we might the better enjoy the beauty of 
it, we were startled by hearing a chorus of voices at a dis- 
tance among the trees. We soon found it was approaching 
us; and stood still to wait for the choristers: they presently 
appeared from behind a turn in the road which we were ap- 
proaching, to the number of twenty or more; and we learned 
from our driver, that they were pilgrims returning from the 
shrine of Sindenkirch. 

In one of the sweetest valleys seen from these hills, and 
which, though deep below their summit, is far above the 



WESTERN GERMANY. 197 

bly fall into the issimo style again. It is most noble, most 
lovely, most magnificent. About thirty years ago, a mass of 
ruins only stood on this predominating point ; and the JVeio 
Eberstein was erected by the Margrave Frederick ; to whom 
every casual visitor must feel indebted for a spectacle, proba- 
bly not to be matched in the world. The castle is small, but 
fitted up with great taste. The windows have balconies hang- 
ing over a scene that one remembers rather as a dream, than a 
reality; and the narrow pinnacle, on which the building 
stands, is occupied, to its extremest edge, by a terrace walk, 
bordered with flowers, as rich in size, colour, and fragrance, 
as if they grew on some soft sunny slope, instead of spring- 
ing from the summit of a granite rock, which from below 
appears to be almost lost in the clouds. 

It is neither the extent nor the richness of the view from 
Eberstein, that produces the enchantment; though Mont 
Tonnerre -only is its limit; and the sweet villages of Weis- 
senbach, Hilpertsau, Obergroth, and others, whose names I 
remember not, throw life and culture up and down the bold 
granite cliffs that border the river : not all these united have 
the power to charm, which this wild little river itself pos- 
sesses. It is this, curling, dashing, springing, foaming, as it 
winds round the foot of the mountain, that fascinates the eye, 
and makes a moving picture, that one could look down upon 
for ever. Nor is this all : rough and rocky as it is, this 
noisy stream can seldom be looked at for many minutes 
together, during the summer, without shovv^ing that most 
picturesque of all objects; a raft formed of the timber of the 
Black Forest, and navigated by the wildest-looking figures 
in the world, battling with its rapids, and dashing down, 
with reckless daring, among its rocks. 

' Three of these made the tremendous passage, immediately 
under the castle, while we stood upon its terrace ; and I 
never saw skill and courage more conspicuous than in the 
man who led them. 

Though nowhere seen under circumstances so wildly pic- 
turesque as at Eberstein, these rafts form a feature of great 
interest and beauty on all the streams that descend from the 
Black Forest ; and the more so, from the varying appear- 
ance they assume at different stations of their passage to the 
Rhine. We saw them both on the Mourg and the Neckar, 



198 EELGIUM AND 

formed of the enormous logs, entire, as when felled in the 
wild spot where they grew. At a .short distance below Gerns- 
bach, the Mourg, though still falling at a very rapid angle, 
and through a tortuous and rocky bed, is less vehement in 
its movement than above; and here are seen numerous saw- 
ing-mills, which form most picturesque objects in the land- 
scape. The logs here are cut into planks, and, no longer in 
danger of splitting by continual concussion against the masses 
of granite, which seem, above Eberstein, to madden the 
stream by their resistance, they bend and yield to its im- 
pulse without danger; and linked together in long lines, win 
their way to the Rhine. Hundreds of them are then formed 
into one prodigious fabric ; bearing houses and workshops 
on their surface ; and often navigated by a crew exceeding 
five hundred men. 

Small as the new castle of Eberstein is, there are some 
apartments in it well worth seeing. The one containing 
ancient suits of armour, arranged on each side of it, is parti- 
cularly so ; and that at the top of the tower, ornamented by- 
all the successive shields of the house of Baden, from 901 to 
1790, is particularly interesting to those who have recently 
travelled through the Baden territory ; in every part of 
which some of these bearings may be found. On leaving the 
castle, we again walked round the garden terrace ; and then 
with real pain quitted a spot, the like of which we can never 
hope to see again. 

When Vv'e once more entered the hotel beside the river, 
the preparations for inilors^ dinner were at their climax ; 
and just as we got into our carriage to return home, the 
whole party arrived. It was indeed as brilliant and happy 
looking a cavalcade as I remember to have seen; all English, 
1 believe, and all among the gayest of the set ^vith whose 
faces we had become familiar at Baden. 

Our drive home through the valley was very pretty; but 
we were spoiled, just then, for all scenery but Eberstein, 
We dined at the little village of Kuppenheim, from whence 
we visited another residence of the Baden family, called La 
Favorite; and returned to Baden by eight o'clock, too tired 
to look into the SaaL 



WESTERN GEliMANY= J 99 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Confinement in the Secret Tribunal — Spiral Staircase— Chamber from 
which the Prisoners were let down— Theatre— Gambling-— Strasbourg 
— Cathedral — Mummies — Maniac — Monument of Mareschal Saxe — Re- 
turn to Baden — Remarkable Characters— Departure. 

I HAVE already dwelt so long on the chambers of the 
Secret Tribunal, that I am almost afraid to recur to them 
again : and yet our second visit deserves to be mentioned, 
because we are probably the only persons who have been 
fairly locked up within their ghastly precincts since the days 
of the Francs Juges. 

Our motives for returning to the dismal scene were two- 
fold ; — one being to indulge Mr. H. in his wish for a sketch 
of the passage leading to the Oubliette : and the other to 
try if we could persuade our black-eyed Alsacienne to let us 
mount to the chamber from whence prisoners were let down 
into the dungeons. By the aid of perseverance we succeed- 
ed in both. The damsel seemed rather surprised at seeing 
us again ; and, when informed of our wish to be permitted 
to remain for some time in the vaults, looked as if she sus- 
pected that we had, one and all, lost our wits. 1 shall not 
forget the look she gave Mr. H. when he made her under- 
stand his object. 

" Faire un tableau la !" she exclaimed ; '* mais c'est 
drole." 

After thinking about it for a moment, she said ; that if 
we were determined upon this, we must consent to be lock- 
ed up in the dungeons ; for that she was particularly en- 
joined never to leave them open. I am not quite sure that 
this was not said to try my coijrage; for there was "a laugh- 
ing devil in her eye" that made it by no means improba- 
ble. However, I did not shrink from the undertaking; and 
we were accordingly once more led down to this region of 
blackest night. Having told us to be careful of our candles, 
and to keep together, she turned the grating lock ; and we 
were left to indulge to the ftdl in all the thick-coming fan- 



200 BELGIUM AND 

cies that were sure to visit us. The only indication of not 
quite liking the business that I ventured to give was, by 
desiring, with some earnestness, that our confinement should 
not exceed half an hour. This our pretty gaolor promised : 
and having thus bid adieu to everything like agreeable sen- 
sations for that space ; I- gave myself up to the full con- 
sciousness of all the positive, real, and unimaginative hor- 
rors of the spot ; which I am sure can never be done com- 
pletely, Vk^hile merely following a guide through its recesses. 

The only mode that could be devised, by which Mr. H. 
might make the sketch he wished, was having a light held 
over the fearful oubliette. I volunteered this service ; and 
performed it too: and though I will not take credit for 
having braved any real danger thereby, I nevertheless feel 
conscious of having mastered a whole legion of airy spirits, 
as I stood on the hideous threshold ; in the act of passing 
which, so many aching hearts had heaved their last sigh ; — ■ 
for the next step precipitated them down the yawning, yet 
hidden gulf, where their wrongs and their sufferings were 
stifled and silenced for ever. 

When the half hour was fully elapsed, we had the satis- 
faction of hearing the sound of a key rattling in the lock 
that shut us in. The damsel smiled at seeing us all waiting 
on the threshold as she opened it. 

" Je vous ai laisse aussi long terns, il parait," said she; 
and then assured us, with some earnestness, that she had not 
exceeded the time named. Our watches perfectly confirm- 
ed this — nevertheless, I confess, it appeared to me the long- 
est half hour I ever passed. 

I believe she thought we must have had enough of the 
secret tribunal ; for when we reminded her of the promise 
extracted before our incarceration, that she would take us to 
the treacherous guest chamber ; she uttered the word 
vraiment ! in a tone of much surprise. She kept her 
promise, however ; and led us to the top of the building, 
where we saw the whole of the extraordinary contrivance re- 
sorted to for the purpose of securing a prisoner with a degree 
of secrecy, which must have set even the curiosity of do- 
mestics at defiance. 

The place we were taken to certainly did not resemble 
" an ordinary chamber," as the girl had called it; though I 



WESTERN GERMANY. 201 

can easily suppose that it might have done so before the 
burning of the castle, and its subsequent repairs. The situ- 
ation and arrangement of the secret descent to the vaults are 
so remarkable, that I will endeavour to' describe them ; but 
in order to do this, it v/ill be necessary to begin from the en- 
trance to the chateau. 

The great door-way opens into a vaulted hall or vestibule ; 
traversed at the farther end by a wide passage, leading on 
the right-hand to the principal apartments of the rez de 
chaussee, and to the offices on the left. Immediately in 
front of the vestibule are three pairs of large-folding-doors. 
The one on the left opens upon a flight of steps leading to 
the gardens ; and that on the right upon an enormous spiral 
staircase : that in the centre our guide did not open to us. 
In visiting the picture gallery and the apartments of the 
dowager Grand Duchess, we had mounted by this spiral 
staircase ; and it was by the sam.e that we were now led 
to the top of the building. On both occasions the construc- 
tion of this staircase had struck us as being very singular. 
It was, as I have said, spiral ; but the column around which 
it turned was of enormous dimensions ; and the stairs them- 
selves, as if to be in proportion with it, were at least six feet 
in width. 

On this second occasion, we continued to mount the same 
flight, without any diminution of its width, for three stories; 
when we found ourselves in a sort of open garret : and close 
beside the spot where the spiral staircase ended, our guide 
pointed to a net work of iron, fastened by a padlock over a 
hole that sunk deeper below it than the eye could reach. 
We immediately perceived that the monstrous staircase, we 
had mounted, wound round this aperture ; and consequently, 
'that the castle had been built with a view to this frightful 
entrance to its vaults. When we again reached the foot of 
the stairs, our attention was directed to the centre pair of 
folding-doors ; which, it now appeared evident, must open 
upon the interior and hidden descent. Henry put his hand 
upon the lock ; but the damsel stopped him. 

" li n'y a rien la, Monsieur, vous avez tout vu." 

W^e persisted, however ; and at length, half laughing half 
scolding at our pertinacity, she permitted us to enter. 

26 



202 BELGIUM AND 

These large and stately dooris opened upon a closet, which 
had much the air of a butler's pantry ; but upon examination, 
we found that it communicated both with the dungeon below 
and the secret entrance from above. From this arrange- 
ment it appears probable, that in some cases, when the un- 
happy victim, marked for oblivion, was brought into the 
castle, he was immediately led, by this handsome entrance, 
into what we may easily suppose might have had the ap- 
pearance of a small ante-room ; and there, without further 
delay, lowered to his slaughter-house and his tomb. 

Those who love to penetrate into the recesses of old ram- 
bling buildings, and to amuse their imaginations by assigning 
uses to most unaccountable collections of arches, vaults, and 
passages, should not fail to explore all that part of the castle 
which opens upon the gardens. Part of this side front is 
converted into a sort of rude green-house ; but by far the 
greater portion consists of the most puzzling and intricate 
labyrinth of stone and cement that I ever attempted to 
thread. 

We had fixed on this evening to visit the theatre; more for 
the purpose of seeing everything that contributes to the 
amusement of Baden, than from expecting to find as much 
amusement within its walls, as we were very certain of 
meeting without. The building is small, but perfectly large 
enough for its purpose, which can only be to a catch a few of the 
francs which fly about here so abundantly during the season. 

The piece was *' Fra Diavolo;" but this performance of it 
must not be cited among the musical treats of Germany. 
Nothing, certainly, could be worse than both music and act- 
ing; — a convincing proof that the rooms are too attractive to 
leave patronage enough to support a theatre. The most 
agreeable part of the business ; and which, if the opera had 
been worth hearing, would have enabled one to enjoy it in 
great luxury, was the easy way in which the spectators left 
their boxes, and took a cool promenade upon the walks, be- 
tween the acts. How different from the penance inflicted 
by being shut up for four hours together, without the possi- 
bility of stirring! 

The performance was over at half-past eight; and we then 
repaired to the rooms. They were crowded to excess; and 
we had patiently to advance, inch by inch, before we could 



WESTERN GERMANY. 203 

reach the scene, which, despite all its hateful features, still 
continued to excite in us all a species of interest, more re- 
sembling that felt by the naturalist, when contemplating the 
quivering nerves of some tortured subject, than anything 
else I can think of. 

I used formerly to fancy that I understood in what con- 
sisted the pleasure of gaming. I thought it arose from an 
animating vicissitude of hope and fear, which kept the spirits 
in a delightful flutter of excitement. But this was before I 
had watched its torturing effects; and I am now utterly at a 
loss to conceive what the feeling is, which can tempt men to 
endure so great agony. It can hardly be avarice: for a child 
can tell, that to lose, and not to gain, is the certain result of 
playing at a public table, if the gambler does but go on long 
enough to see the chances round. Yet if it be not avarice, 
what can it be? 

Excepting to those who feel a strange and tragic pleasure 
in watching the workings of the human soul, a gaming table 
must, one should think, be as totally devoid of amusement 
as the monotonous progress of the tread-mill. What can 
equal in dulness the whining, languid repetition of the crou- 
piers cry, " Faites votre jeu. Messieurs. Le jeu est fait 

le jeu est fait . . . Trois . .. . Quatre . . . . Le rouge perd, le cou- 
leur gagne." And again the weary sound begins — '^'Faites 
votre jeu, Messieurs .... Le jeu est fait . . . . Le jeu est fait 
.... Neuf . . . . Dix ... . Le rouge gagne, et ie couleur perd." 
Yet this is all the gaming offers, besides suffering: for that the 
hours spent there are in truth hours of acute misery, I feel 
perfectly sure. I have watched the working muscles, and 
read the agony they expressed, even where the lips have been 
firmly set, and the eyes fixed, almost without winking to con- 
'ceal it. Even in the moments when Fortune seems to fa- 
vour the gambler, it brings relief only for an instant; for 
scarcely have his feverish fingers grasped the gold, before 
they tremble, and relax again, to put once more in hazard all 
that his soul clings to. 

Almost every passion has been successfully depicted on 
the stage; yet I doubt if the pitiful, yet mighty tortures of a 
gambler, while the agony is on him, could be acted. Bever- 
ley's despair is easy to imagine, and probably not difficult to 
express: but this is totally unlike the state of a man while in 
the act of playing: and I am pretty sure, that hitherto nothing 



204 BELGIUM AND 

has been written, nothing painted, that can convey to those, 
who have never witnessed it, the fearful miseries of a ga- 
ming table. 

There is something, to a looker-on, peculiarly painful in 
watching the degradation of such, among the infatuated 
throng, as were evidently intended for something better. 
Brave officers, whose blood never fell back upon their hearts 
when an enemy faced them in the field, turn lividly pale at 
the sound of "Rouge perd . . . . coleur gagne;" and I have 
watched men, whose eagle eye, and proud demeanour, looked 
as if they could not quail before anything on earth, shrink 
into littleness, as the gold, they had madly thrown upon the 
table, was carelessly raked up by the callous bankers. How 
can such men bear the quiet smile, which these reptiles ex- 
change with each other, when some indication of feeling es- 
capes — when some throb of agony becomes visible? Perhaps 
they do not see this; — but I have w^atched it, till I have ex- 
pected some ruined victim, mad with suffering, would crush 
them to death beneath his feet. 

But I will dwell upon this hateful spectacle no longer. 
It ought not to contend in the memory with all the delight- 
ful recollections that Baden must leave. The solemn black 
pine-covered hills, the misty valleys hid among them, the 
historic interest of their ancient castles, and all the bright fas- 
cination of light-hearted gaiety, that revels at their feet, will 
all, I hope, be remembered, when the frightful horrors of 

the gaming table are forgotten. 

* ;^ ;^ -^ ^ * •* * 

It w^as impossible to be within a few hours of Strasbourg, 
and not visit it. We had already caught sight of its un- 
equalled spire; which, seen even mistily in the distance, en- 
ticed us onward : and though half reluctant to leave Baden 
for a day which we might certainly have added to our stay 
there, we yet decided upon doing so ; and rising at an early 
hour, set off to cross the barrier between Germany and 
France. 

The crossing this barrier is in general not performed with- 
out considerable inconvenience: but we had been warned of 
the ultra strict examination which takes place at the Douane 
at the entrance of the city ; and took care to have no baggage 
to annoy us. We were, however, witnesses to one or two 



WESTERN GERMANY. 205 

searches, which enabled us to judge what we should have had 
to submit to, had it been otherwise: and I certainly never 
saw caution to so comic an excess. We saw two ragged pe- 
destrians overhauled; who laughed most' heartily during the 
operation, conscious, poor fellows, that they carried nothing 
beside their own lawful limbs. But had they been suspected 
of introducing the most precious contrabands, or the most 
fearful treasons, the scrupulous douanier could not have done 
his duty better. 

Strasbourg has little that is beautiful to show, except its 
church ; and that, at least the spire of it, is matchless. The 
original conception of the whole building w^as very noble; 
but it happened here, as it frequently appears to have done 
elsewhere, either that the funds for the undertaking failed, 
or that those, who had devoted themselves to the work, were 
buried within its own walls before it was finished. The 
consequence of this is, that when close to the building, this 
light and elegant spire, which seems meant to pierce the 
heavens, is from the condition of what was intended to be its 
fellow, rather a deformity than a grace. 

The west front is very grand in design and proportions ; 
and almost too profusely elaborate in ornament. It is said 
that the multitude of little statues which surround the great 
western door-way are by the hand of a female, the daughter 
of the architect of the tower. The general appearance of all 
the external sculptures, which are lavished on every part of 
the building, and look as if thrown against it by handfuls, is 
rich to excess; but cannot to my fancy be compared in grace 
or dignity to the effect produced by those parts of the Co- 
logne Munster which are finished. The spectator must be 
at some short distance from the church, on the fortifications 
for instance, before the beautiful tower can be seen to advan- 
tage. Its lightness is such as then to give it the appearance 
of a model, constructed with fine wires, than of an enormous 
structure of stone. The elegant curves of its spiral stair- 
cases are seen from top to bottom; and the light is permitted 
to pass through it on all sides, with a regularity, in the form 
of the apertures, which gives the idea of a transparent em- 
broiderv of flowers. 

The interior was majestic from its vastness, but strangely 
incongruous in style ; some parts, particularly the windows, 



206 BELGIUM AND 

being finished in the highest degree; and others, as the 
dome, being left rough as the masonr}'' of a rustic bridge. 
While wandering about the enormous aisles, and examining 
the side chapels that open from them, I found, as is usual 
with me whenever I tread ground described by the Scotch 
enchanter, the exact spot where Margaret of Anjou kneeled, 
and where the noble Oxford received her last commands. 

I entered the church with the intention of climbing to the 
top of its spire; but gave it up on listening to the sacristan's 
account of the ascent. My son, however, who is not easily 
discouraged by threatened fatigue, persevered in his deter- 
mination, and achieved the enterprise ; but confessed, when 
it was over, that it was neither easy nor agreeable. Above 
half the tremendous height (500 feet) is scaled by steps on 
the outside of the spire; and though these are protected by 
a rail, it is so slight, and its supports are so distant from 
each other, that it takes but little from its horrors. 

It is on record, that three females have been at different 
times so overpowered by the giddy eminence, which they 
had reached, when climbing it, that they have thrown them- 
selves off in a momentary fit of delirium and been dashed 
to atoms. The latest of these awful accidents occurred with- 
in the last ten years; and the man, who recounted the tale 
to Henry, while he was standing on the self-same pinnacle, 
told him that he had himself witnessed it. He said that the 
unfortunate creature was quite a young girl; and the first 
symptom she gave of her senses wavering, was excessive 
mirth. She laughed and shouted, as if in ecstacy ; and 
having reached a point where nothing intercepted her view 
of the abyss below, she sprang off, screaming wildly as she 
fell. 

" The sound of that cry, as she passed dov/n, was terrible," 
remarked the guide. Terrible, indeed I too much so to bear 
thinking of. 

The protestant church of St. Thomas is another object 
pointed out to the attention of travellers. Its celebrity 
arises from its containing the splendid monument erected to 
Mareschal Saxe ; and also the imperishable remains, as they 
are called, of a Count of Nassau and his daughter. The last 
of these is an uninteresting, and most irreverent exhibition 
of the bones of the dead, kept in glass cases, and clothed in 



WESTERN GERMANY. 207 

trumpery garments, vvhicb, it is evident, are occasionally- 
renewed. The Count's face has been refreshed also, being 
thickly covered with a recent coating of paint. The head 
of his daughter is merely that of a sl^eleton; on the bare 
skull of which is placed a wreath of flowers. There is some- 
thing revoltingly indecent in thus taking from the tomb the 
remains of noble individuals, to whom honour was intended 
by the ceremony of embalmment ; dressing tliem in fanciful 
attire, and placing them in the vestry of the church, whose 
sacred roof was meant to cover them, and then exhibiting 
them for a penny a-piece to all comers. 

Far different is the extraordinary spectacle at Kreuzberg; 
where such of the living, as have nerves enough to stand the 
awful sight, may well be permitted to descend into the grave, 
to behold the unaccountable preservation in which some un- 
known natural cause has kept the remains of the monks who 
lie buried there. No abortive attempt has been made to save 
them from returning to dust, by the application of rich 
balms and precious spices ; and the brothers of the commu- 
nity rest there undisturbed beneath their altar, as they were 
laid by the hands of their friends, each in the weeds of their 
order. Why they have not followed the common law of 
mortal mould is a question sufficiently puzzling to justify a 
strong degree of curiosity; but certainly no feeling at all 
similar to this is gratified by beholding the disinterred 
fragments of the Nassau mummies. 

The monument of Mareschal Saxe is very magnificent; 
being composed of many colossal figures of white marble, 
which are well shown against a pyramidical back-ground of 
grey. But when we saw it a living figure stood at its base, 
which more than divided our attention. It was that of a 
maniac ; but of one who, in losing reason, had still retained 
so much of grace and dignity, as to show that it is not by 
his highest attribute alone that man is superior to every 
other mortal thing. 

This unfortunate gentleman was an officer of rank in the 
French service, and had received a wound in the head. 
Being a person of large fortune, and perfectly harmless, he 
is kept under no restraint; except that a servant always attends 
him, who it is his pleasure should be dressed as a soldier. 
I never saw a more graceful or commanding figure than that 



208 BELOIUM AND 

of this poor madman; and the wildness of his countenance 
and gesticulation often suggested the idea of enthusiasm, 
rather than insanity. He was dressed in mourning ; and 
the only peculiarity of his attire was the wearing a black 
silk handkerchief round his body like a military sash. He 
was conversing in a very animated manner with a gentleman 
whom he had casually met in the church, and who appeared 
to listen to him with the deepest interest : but from time to 
time he stopped short in his discourse, and uttered a few 
magnificently powerful and musical notes, as if to try the 
effect of the reverberation from the vaulted roof; and then 
he put up his finger in the attitude of one who would enjoin 
silence, while his uplifted countenance had the expression 
that one could imagine in a person listening to sounds from 
heaven. He paused before a monument, whose inscription 
announced that it was in memory of one who died young. 
He shuddered — ^'Si jeune," said he, in an accent of deep 
melancholy;— '' est il possible!" — then turning away and 
shaking his head, he added — '^ Mais enfiyiP^ .... It was 
not difficult to follow the course of his sad thoughts. 

I have seen many maniacs ; but never one with features 
so like what poetry would choose to reJDresent insanity. 
There were moments when the struggle between memory 
and madness was so evident in his fine countenance as to 
make one's heart ache. How Garrick would have gloried 
in meeting such a study! 

The environs of Strasbourg are perfectly flat ; and, were 
it not for the ever-beautiful line of the Vosges, which is at 
no great distance, would be totally without beauty. There 
is, however, one source of interest in the neighbourhood, 
that would atone to many for want of all else; I mean its 
antiquities. The traces, always so legible, and often so no- 
ble, of Roman art and Roman power, through the Rhenish 
territories, cannot be counted as the least among the mani- 
fold attractions that draw all Europe to visit it. But here 
the avenue, through which we look backward upon the past, 
formed as it is of the relics of every age that has preceded us, 
reaches beyond the period at which Rome's legions con- 
quered and enjoyed the strongholds and luxurious baths of 
Germany. In the neighbourhood of Strasbourg, particularly 
in the direction of the Vosges, numerous vestiges have been , 



IT' 



WESTERN GERMANY. 211 

guests were furnished : these probably had deeper recesses 
for their play than the table of rouge et noir. 

There was one pretty woman, who constantly dined at 
Chabert^s while we were at Baden, and occasioned me much 
speculation. She was perhaps rather more than thirty ; her 
eyes were beautiful, but their expression not such as capti- 
.vates woman's admiration ; her complexion was clear, and 
with the help of a little rouge, almost brilliant; and her form 
exactly such as Rubens loved to paint. She appeared to be 
rich and independent. No gentleman ever attended her in- 
to the room ; but when she left it, she was generally accom- 
panied by two or three. Notwithstanding the particularly 
easy gaiety with which she welcomed every man who ap- 
proached her, I must presume her respectable, from the so- 
ciety in which I occasionally saw her ; but she was certain- 
ly a very puzzling personage. This talking, laughing, flirt- 
ing lady was constantly accompanied by a little girl of about 
seventeen, who made one's heart ache. She was the most 
quiet, modest, unobtrusive being I ever looked at. The 
simple elegance of her dress formed as remarkable a con- 
trast to that of her companion, as her person and manner. 
No one spoke to her; no one noticed her; in the ball-room 
she sat silently beside her laughing friend; she never 
danced ; she never smiled. At the gaming-table, where 
her flighty chaperone often played, she stood close behind 
her, with the same gentle look of immovable gravity. Who 
could have had the barbarity to consign her to such cruel 
care ? If pity really melts the soul to love, she must, I think, 
have conquered many hearts ; for to watch her, and not pity 
her, was impossible. 

Another individual, whose peculiarities made him remark- 
able whenever he appeared, was a man between thirty and 
forty ; whose face, with the exception of about one inch 
square below his eyes, was literally covered with hair. He 
was most hideous : yet there was a bustle and a. fuss about 
him, wdiich constantly compelled one, as it were, to watch 
what he was about, though it was really disagreeable to 
look at him. At the gaming-table, at the walks, in dining, 
in dancing, it was the same ; let what might of lovely and 
gracious be near, this most inexpressibly ugly person was 
still the thing most looked at. If he played, it was with 



212 BELGIUM AND 

gesticulations so vehement, as to win a stare even from those 
whose hearts and souls were shining on the table before 
them. Yet these • grimaces were clearly for the good of 
the public ; and by no means to relieve his own emotions : 
for he did not stake high ; and was clearly thinking more 
of himself than his money. On the walks, his overdressed 
person assumed the movement of a weathercock in a squall. 
With his glass eternally applied to his eye, he twisted now 
this way, now that, with such evident consciousness that all 
eyes were upon him, that every soul in the walks seemed to 
have entered into agreement to feed his vanity for the 
amusement of watching it. At table he was, if possible, 
more ludicrous still : for in eating, he appeared to gratify 
no appetite but vanity. Every finger was in an attitude, 
and his eye incessantly roving round the rooni, to ascertain 
that they were looked at. In dancing, he waved his beard, 
his favoris, and his moustaches, as if to fan his partner : and 
what made this profusion of hair the more comic, was the 
fact, spite of careful combing, he vvas very nearly bald. He 
called himself Count Something ; but whence or how this 
title came, I never could thoroughly understand. Many, 
I think, must remember this Orson-Osrick. 

But it is time to leave Baden, and all its multiplied and 
contrasted fascinations ; the delightful hilarity of its public 
walks and public rooms ; and the awful solitude of its moun- 
tain-paths : of which there are some, where, at the distance 
of five hundred yards from the subscription rooms, ladies 
may find themselves wandering among primeval forests ; 
and gentlemen may think, as they stride upward beside the 
mountain-stream, that they have abandoned the gaming-ta- 
ble for ever. 

It is time to leave them all : but I, in common, I imagine, 
with every human being who ever visited the spot, and left 
it without being utterly ruined, must and will indulge the 
hope that is not for ever. 



WESTERN GERMANY. ^13 



CFIAPTER XV. 

Return to Mannheim^German honesty— Bathing at Mannheh-n, and Baden 
—Disappearance of the Jesuits— Voyage to Mayence— Douane at 
Worms— Wiesbaden— Walks— Antiquities — Drinking the waters — 
Opera — Rooms— Gaming. 

On the 9th of August, we left Baden-Baden for Mann- 
heim, having hired a carriage to take us there in one day ; 
a distance that I should have thought too long for one pair 
of horses, being seventy miles, had not the driver assured 
us that he had repeatedly done it without distressing them. 
When my son made the engagement with this man, the day 
before we left Baden, he was surprised by his drawing a 
piece of five francs from his pocket, and insisting on his 
taking it as a proof that it was a real bargain between them. 
Henry repeatedly refused ; but the driver as repeatedly de- 
clared to him that it was for his own satisfaction, as then, 
" he was sure the gentleman would employ him, if only to 
give him his money back ;'' and so perfectly in earnest was 
he, that the contest ended by Henry's being positively forced 
to take his pledge that he would be at the door of our lodg- 
ings on the following day exactly at six o'clock. 

Another trait of one of the same class of men, I think de- 
serves recording. On arriving at Heidelberg, we were so 
eager in our desire to despatch all the business that must 
necessarily be got through before we could start for the cas- 
tle, that while I looked at my rooms, my son w^as engaged in 
seeing the luggage taken from the carriage. During the 
time he was thus occupied, our driver followed me, and 
I paid him for the day's engagement. 

It seems that the man lingered in the town, in the hope 
of taking us on ; for a day or two afterwards, he accosted 
my son in the street, who, recollecting his person more ra- 
pidly than he could understand his words, pulled out his 
purse, knowing that he had not paid him, (as it was his cus- 
tom to do,) and not having heard me mention that I had done 



214 BELGIUM AND 

SO. From this moment, all the poor fellow's hope of a fu- 
ture engagement was lost in his eagerness to declare that 
he was paid — fully paid ; and in entreaties that Henry 
would put up his purse again ; making it very evident that 
he was not only honest, but most feelingly alive to the pain 
of being thought otherwise. 

We arrived at Mannheim about ten, more fatigued, as it 
appeared, than our horses ; for the driver declared they were 
still well able to go another stage, if necessary ; but most cer- 
tainl}^ I was not. We had the good fortune to find our old 
apartments at the Weinberg unoccupied; and immediately 
felt very comfortably at home. 

Our first care, on the following morning, was to learn the 
time at which the steam-boat should start for Mayence. This 
being three o'clock, we ordered dinner at two, and amused 
ourselves in the interval by walking about the town and its 
superb gardens, and in taking a warm bath. 

'' Tout est comparatif," says the French proverb; and I 
never was more fully aware of its truth than during this day. 
The pretty garden of the bath-house, and its little vine-co- 
vered arcade, overlooking the Rhine, had seemed delightful, 
the last time I bathed there; and the knowing that my bath 
was from the waters of that '^ abounding river," was quite 
enough to content me; but now the exquisitely clear blue 
crystal of the Baden baths was remembered; and this from 
the Rhine seemed absolutely muddy in comparison. In like 
manner, our comfortable private dinners at the Weinberg had 
appeared excellent; but now the vision of Chabert's restau- 
rant haunted us ; and, like Sancho's dread doctor, taught us 
to find fault with everything. 

During our morning walk, we entered the Jesuits' church 
while mass was performing there ; and again remarked that 
the officiating priest had not the tonsure : moreover he wore 
loose pantaloons and boots; circumstances which, though of 
no great importance in themselves, yet speak loudly of the 
gradual decrease of veneration for catholic pomp and popish 
dignity. 

Those who run may read what position the now extin- 
guished Jesuits once held in this country. There is hardly 
a bridge that has not the effigy of a Jesuit, wuth a crucifixion 
in his arms, placed on its centre: and along the road, beside 



WESTERN GERMANY. 219 

spoke to him. He turned his head ; — and his elegant friend, 
stooping a little forward, and turning his head too, (as if to 
follow the eyes of the other,) gently, delicately, and most 
skilfully, abducted one or two of the gold pieces; which, 
before the young man was at leisure to obey the monoto- 
nous "faites votre jeu, Messieurs," of the croupier, were 
quietly conveyed to his pocket. How I longed to expose 
him ! But the ardour of my indignation, though it made my 
heart throb, and my cheeks tingle, was yet insufficient to in- 
spire such noble daring. It would, indeed, have been about 
as wise, as attempting to rescue the honey of some silly bee 
from the centre of a nest of hornets. 

The Sunday banquet at the Kursaal has an air of great 
splendour ; for the whole of the immense saloon is filled 
with guests. . The amiable and popular Duke of Nassau has 
a hunting-seat near the baths ; his beautiful chateau of Bie- 
berich is aJso at no great distance; and, while residing at 
either of these palaces, it is his custom to appear in public 
every Sunday at Wiesbaden, and dine at the table d'hote of 
ihe Kursaal. This good-humoured condescension contri- 
butes greatly to his popularity, and is the source of a hand- 
some revenue to the restaurant : for, on these occasions, it 
appears, that though the tables are stretched to the utmost 
extent of the immense hall, they are always fully furnished 
with guests. 

The gardens behind the Kursaal were exceedingly gay on 
the Sunday we passed at Wiesbaden ; and for the last half- 
hour before dinner, the esplanade, on which the rooms open, 
became thronged. But whether it were that my fancy was 
so bewitched by Baden, that it could be satisfied with nothing 
else ; or that, in truth, I only saw things as they were ; it 
certainly appeared to me that there was much less of fashion 
and elegance in this crowd, than in that which had daily 
animated the walks at Baden. 

On the evening of this day the gaming-table was crowded ; 
and once more we saw folly and misery hand in hand, seek- 
ing destruction, and calling it amusement. No women 
played, but many were occupied by watching the chances of 
the game. There was one party standing close to mine, and 
among them was a lady, who discoursed more eloquently by 
her features, than the generality of her sex, while so young 



220 BELGIUM AND 

and so fair, have yet learned to do with their lips. 1 could 
almost repeat, in sober prose, what has been so well express- 
ed in verse, and say "her body thought:" — so strongly did 
every delicate but powerful feature speak scorn and loathing 
of the occupation, and the beings engaged in it. Yet, plain 
as this language appeared to me, it should seem that it was 
not equally so to all; for a towering moustache, who stood 
near, having the air of a man of fashion made up for the sea- 
son, had the effrontery to address her, with " Mettrai-je-pour 
vous sur la table. Mademoiselle ?" 

I hardly knovv pencil or pen that could do full justice to 
the look which answered this. It was not the startled glance 
of a terrified girl, abashed and frightened by an impertinent 
freedom; but resembled far more the steady eye-beam that I 
once saw Mrs. Siddons dart at Comus, before she replied to 
him ; and I almost expected to hear 

"I had not thought to have unlocked my lips 
In this unhallowed air." 

The man absolutely quailed before her, and his craven glance 
replied as plainly, 

« She fables not— I feel that I do fear." 

Indignation seemed to conquer, for one moment, all feeling 
of timidity; for it was not till the next that she blushed; 
and then neck, cheek, and brow mantled so painfully, that 
she drew the old gentleman, on whose arm she leant, from 
the table; and retreating through the crowd, as hastily as its 
closeness permitted, left the room. 

7^ 7p vp ^ vp ^ 

One of the prettiest features at Wiesbaden is the row of 
gay shops under the colonnade. These form a sort of bazaar 
in the open air; and the fantastic costume of the venders, 
both Tyrolese and Swiss, gives the whole scene the air of a 
fancy fair. 1 think a good imitation of such costume might 
furnish a very agreeable variety at any rustic fete, where the 
ultimate object may be to make both the talents and vanity 
of the rich minister to the necessities of the poor. It would 
be too attractive for a London sale, but would do excellently 
well in the country ; and the fair artisans might be rewarded 



WESTERN GERMANY. 221 

for their kind-hearted industry by a dance on the green, after 
they had disposed of their wares ; being ready clad in the 
prettiest dancing dresses in the world. 

It appeared almost as general a fashion to sup at the Kur- 
saal, as to dine there ; but the parties at supper ale a la carte, 
instead of being supplied as at a table d'hote. The whole 
arrangement, however, is immeasurably inferior to Cha- 
bert's. During supper on the last evening of our sta}^, we 
were regaled by the music of an excellent band of Jewish 
musicians. They had with them a boy of about ten years 
old, who sang deliciously ; — but listening to him was like 
watching the beauteous colours of a dolphin while expiring : 
the life and being of his sweet voice was evidently perishing 
under its display. 



222 BELGIUM AND 



CHAPTER XVI. 



Nassau Scenery — Langen-Schwalbach — Nassau — Ems — Pleasant Rencon- 
tre — Kurhaus — Public Rooms — Excursion to Branbach — Fortress of 
Marksberg — Boat on the Rhine — Pilgrims — Attempt at Suicide. 

The drive from Wiesbaden to Ems is much too varied in 
its beauty to admit of detailed description. There are points 
of it equal to anything, even in the neighbourhood of Baden 
itself. And it is here that I would wish to lead all those 
who, while they speak disparagingly of the Rhenish scenery, 
in fact know nothing about it; — beyond what may be learn- 
ed from catching a hasty glance at the side front of a rock, 
or through the tangled entrance of a dark valley, from the 
deck of a steamboat. I imagine that all who are accused of 
laudatory exaggeration upon this subject, and are said, accord- 
ing to the usual phrase, to "rave about the beauty of the 
Rhine," have become familiar with the various indescribable 
scenes which are to be found among the intricate recesses of 
this portion of the Nassau territory. The voyage between 
Bingen and Coblentz is the part of the river expedition which 
least disappoints the floating tourist ; but it is behind the 
cliflfs, whose " castled crags'' diversify the right bank, dur- 
ing the whole of this distance, that the most beautiful scenery 
is to be found. The capricious variety of rock, and forest- 
covered hills, the dark, deep, lonely valleys, the narrow 
pathways leading up to the wild sequestered ruins hid 
among them, the pretty windings of the silvery Lahn, with, 
from time to time, bright glimpses of the " exulting river'' 
that flows through the sunny landscape in the distance, alto- 
gether make this region a source of exceeding enjoyment to 
the real lover of Salvator Rosa-like combinations. 

The baths of Langen-Schwalbach, or Schwalbach, as it is 
generally called, are situated between Wiesbaden and Ems, 
and make excellent head-quarters for those who do not wish 
to enter into the constant dissipation of either. The strength- 
ening and restorative effects recorded of the waters are such. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 225 

commodate nearly all the company at the baths, runs along 
the base of a rocky ridge, called the Baedersly, which forms 
one side of the narrow valley of the Lahn. Some of these 
hotels contain excellent rooms, but non'e have any preten- 
sions to magnificence: there is, however, one among them, 
which, if vastness be held a quality of sublimity, may per- 
haps be entitled to that still higher epithet. The Kurhaus, 
as this enormous pile is called, is as remarkable for its ram- 
bling, irregular construction as for its size. Three hundred 
beds were occupied in it when we were at Ems, and I was 
assured that it had room for many more. This ungainly 
edifice touches the Basdersly rock on one side, while the 
other is separated from the river only by a narrow gravel 
path; the carriage-road passing through the hotel under an 
archway. This singular building belongs to the Duke of 
Nassau, who derives a considerable revenue from the rent 
of its almost innumerable apartments. Each room has the 
amount of its daily rent marked over the door ; and an agent 
of the Duke is constantly in attendance to receive the daily 
or weekly returns. The table d'hote at this house is too 
large to promise much comfort. I saw a table there laid for 
three hundred persons, but felt no inclination to make one 
of them. Many of the smaller establishments have the re- 
putation of a better table; that at the hotel de Russie I caa 
venture to pronounce excellent. 

We did not fail, according to our Baden and Wiesbaden 
custom, to go to "the rooms," the first evening we passed 
at Ems; but we soon found we had no business there, and 
made a hasty retreat. Two or three apartments were open 
to the public ; but they were ill-lighted, and looked almost 
desolate: a iew groups of ladies and gentlemen, evidently 
strangers, like ourselves, were passing through them ; but 
the only company appearing to be there by right consisted 
of about a score of singularly ill-looking persons, seated 
around a rouge et noir table. It seems that the more ele- 
gant and aristocratic mischief at Ems is carried on at the 
private lodgings of the parties engaged in it; but 1 fear it 
must not be presumed, from this, that gambling prevails less 
here, than where its theatre is more public ; — on the contra- 
ry, that most hateful process, by which the cool and calcu- 

29 



226 BELGIUM AND 

lating villain fleeces the thoughtless and unwary, is said to 
be often in full action here. At rouge et noir, Folly stakes 
against Fortune; and though the odds are terribly against 
Folly, she may generally look for fair play; but where 
Knavery makes Fortune his thrall, and forces her to take 
the credit of all the tricks he may choose to play, poor Folly 
isbadly off indeed. — -And Ems has been the scene of more 
than one gambling tragedy. 

The morning after our arrival at the baths, our friends 
having proposed an excursion through the forest, to Bran- 
bach, and the fortress of Marksberg, on the Rhine, we gladly 
set about preparing for it. In addition to the sociable hired 
for the occasion, our party required the assistance of two 
donkeys; and as it is the fashion to be very active, and do a 
great deal of business before breakfast at Ems, we crossed the 
Lahn by its little bridge of boats, which looks like a miniature 
imitation of those on the Rhine, and were among the first 
customers at the picturesque shed, where the herd of saddled 
donkeys stand to be hired. There is nothing more peculiarly 
characteristic of the place than this shed, and its accompani- 
ments. Many of the excursions amidst the beautiful country 
in the neighbourhood are through roads that are better tra- 
versed by the feet of donkeys and mules, than by any less 
humble beast; and accordingly, the demand for them is so 
great, that ninety-six donkeys, and four mules, are to be seen 
every morning, gaily caparisoned, with a proportionate num- 
ber of attendants, each eloquently, and somewhat clamorously, 
recommending their own particular beasts. Every individual 
quadruped of this numerous herd is labelled on the forehead 
with a number ; and some of the numbers which belong to 
the strongest or best-managed donkeys, are as well known 
throughout the place, as the names of the most disti-nguished 
personages. 

"Forty-seven! forty-seven!" exclaimed more than one 
voice among the applicants, who began to arrive. But we 
had already the happiness of having secured the beautiful 
zebra marked forty-seven. 

"Twenty-two!" — *« Seventeen!"—" Fifty-six!" bawled 
the eager customers; while the proposal of other numbers, 
backed by the assurance of their respective merits, was 
bawled louder still, by the drivers. Fortunately, a police- 



WESTERN GERMANY. 227 

officer is always in attendance, to prevent the spirit of com- 
petition from becoming troublesome, or any exorbitant charge 
being made; and his occupation appeared to be no sinecure. 

This important business happily arranged, we re-crossed 
the bridge; and in our way to the hotel Des Quatre Saisons, 
our friends led us to the source, at which it is the fashion for 
all the world to prelude their breakfast by a smoking glass 
of brackish water. This spring rises in, or is at least con- 
ducted to, a strange, dark chamber, supported by pillars, 
situated under part of the Kurhaus. It is open to the street, 
and entered by many archways ;~these are, nevertheless, not 
sufficient to prevent its having a dark and gloomy appear- 
ance. It is, however, under this sombre shelter that all the 
smart shops of Ems are to be found, and the scene is singu- 
lar enough. On this occasion, we had riot time to amuse 
ourselves long with its peculiarities; for the misty morning 
was brightening into a lovely day, and we were anxious to 
set out upon our expedition. 

Beautiful indeed was the road, which now led us to the 
banks of the Rhine, and wild as beautiful. We mounted the 
steep hill rising on the left bank of the Lahn, only that we 
might dip again into a dark deep chine, where nothing less 
than mid-day sun could chase the eternal gloom of the thick 
forest which clothed its sides. Again we mounted, and then, 
over the world of dark woody hills which rose and sank 
around us, we caught sight of the bold broad stream, seem- 
ing as though it carried light and life through the landscape. 
We had still, however, many a steep mile, both up and down, 
to go, before reaching Branbach; but, whatever our horses 
and donkeys might think of it, I could have wished for more 
miles still ; for each seemed lovelier than the last. We passed 
a maison de chasse, belonging to the Duke of Nassau, the 
walls of which were ornamented with antlers, some of them 
very noble ones. Under the shelter of the wood close by, 
is a sort of rustic ball-room, the orchestra of which isar- 
ranged with a taste so truly sylvan, that none but Pan, or his 
disciples, should presume to play there. 

From this point the road began steadily to descend towards 
the Rhine; and, ere long, we reached the curious little town 
that was to be our glte for the day. Here, towers, too old 
to convey any certain indication of their origin, but re- 



228 BELGIUM AND 

nowned by legends and mysteries innumerable, divided our 
attention with the lovely Rhine, which flowed close to the 
pretty garden of our hotel. I almost regretted that there was 
anything else to see; for many a summer's day might be well 
spent, in looking only at the scene which the terrace of that 
garden gave to view. But the fortress of Marksberg rose 
majestically above our heads; our donkeys were pronounced 
to be in good condition to start again, and, turning our backs 
upon the river, we prepared to mount the steep but beautiful 
path, that led to this last of all the Rhenish fortresses. 

Mrs. W , having already seen the castle, wisely de- 
cided upon enjoying the cool and tranquil luxury of the Bran- 
bach garden; and I set off with the rest of the party. Had 
I trusted to any feet less sure than those of th& steady quad- 
ruped on which 1 was mounted, 1 might have felt, and not 
unreasonably, some alarm from the nature of the path. It 
was narrow and steep ; its boundary, on one side, often pre- 
cipitous ; and, worse still, the summer drought had showered 
upon it so many loose stones, and treacherous rolling pebbles, 
that many a step was abortive, leaving the pieton rather 
lower than when he made it. Nevertheless, we reached the 
bare and rocky summit in safety. 

Never, I think, from any of the various points, whence I 
have gazed, upon the Rhine, did it look more glorious than 
from the little platform before the gates of Marksberg. The 
day, the hour, was all that summer could give of best and 
brightest — just clouds enough to temper, by their flitting 
shadows, the too fervid splendour of the stream; and a 
breeze, that seemed sent on purpose to fan those, who had 
laboured up that toilsome rock ; — for all below it was so 
hushed and still, that not a vine-leaf trembled. 

Major W — — had either knocked, or rung, or blown a 
horn, or given some signal or other to the sentry, notifying 
that we wished to enter, for, long before we had " gazed our 
fill," we were informed, with all military courtesy and 
promptness, that his Excellency the Governor permitted our 
approach. 

Marksberg is the only fortress in Nassau, and, moreover, 
the last solitary remnant of the castled strongholds of the 
Rhenish nobility. This alone remains to tell us what they 



WESTERN GERMANY. 235 

under the signature of the accused. She clasped the scroll 
firmly, and fixing her eyes on those of Napoleon, read some- 
thing, even as he turned them from her, which gave her 
strength to rush towards the hearth ;-^and,in an instant, the 
record had blazed and perished. The happy, but trembling 
woman, once more sought the eyes of the Emperor, but in 
vain; one hand hid them from her view, and the other 
waved her from him. The sentence against her husband 
was revised ; and proof of his guilt being imperfect, the 
doom of death was changed to that of banishment. 

Whilst parading through the motley throng that bustled 
throuo;h the bazaar-like sort of arcade below the Kurhaus, 
the idea of Esper George often rose upon my fancy : and I 
looked about to find something, that I could take for him, or 
his ghost : but though I could never quite satisfy myself in 
this, I was led to the glove-stand of an original, quite as 
whimsical, but much less amiable. I know not to what na- 
tion he belonged ; but some of the party led him into con- 
versation, which he carried on, partly in English, and partly 
in French, or German, I really forget which ; but a more 
ludicrous picture of fanatical hypocrisy, than he contrived 
to give in speaking of himself, can hardly be imagined. 

'* Were you at the gaming-table last night ?" said a gen- 
tleman, addressing him. 

" Oh fie. Sir! how can you ask me such a question? I was 
in my business, Sir, until I went to rest.'^ 

*'But I saw you at roulette, on Sunday night." 

" Sunday, Sir, is quite a different thing. I played on 
Sunday in the name of the Lord. Whatever I do on Sun- 
day is in the name of the Lord ; that sanctifietb it, let it be 
what it will." 

After breakfast, accompanied by the same agreeable party 
as on the day before, we set off', all mounted on donkeys, to 
visit the Pfingstwaide silver mine. The road took us up one 
of the pretty valleys that lead from the Lahn .; and the ex- 
cursion enabled my son to collect some beautiful specimens. 
This valley leads to a picturesque ruin, opposite to, but about 
a mile beyond, the mine : we were, however, obliged to 
content ourselves with looking at it in the distance ; and to 
turn ihe heads of our troop homeward, from the necessity 
of finding ourselves ready for the table d'hote dinner, atone 



236 BELGIUM AND 

o'clock, at the Hotel de Russie, where we had bespoken 
places. Our friends were particularly anxious that we should 
dine there, as they happened to know the set, which was 
composed of many distinguished individuals ; and they 
moreover expected some amusement, from the oddities of 
an additional party who had also bespoken places there. 
To make the scene which followed intelligible to the reader, 
it will be necessary to repeat the particulars of a conversa- 
tion, which took place a day or two before, between the gen- 
tleman who related it to me, and another, who is the hero of 
my tale. This conversation occurred, I believe, in the pub- 
lic rooms ; the parties were strangers to each other, but both 
were Englishmen. Whether my friend, who, for distinc- 
tion's sake, I will call Mr. A., addressed the stranger, who 
shall,^be named Mr. B., or was addressed by him, I cannot 
say, but the following dialogue ensued : — 

Mr. A. — " You find the Kurhaus a comfortable hotel. 
Sir?" 

Mr. B. — "Yes, indeed — for this country." 

Mr. A.—" And the table ?" 

Mr. B. — " The only fault is, that they serve my table 
with too great variety." 

Mr. A.— "You do not, then, dine at the table d'hote ?" 

Mr. B.—" At the table d'hote ! Oh no; Mrs. B. would 
find that utterly insufferable — quite out of her way." 

Mr. A. — '^ 1 have never dined at the Kurhaus. It has, 
I believe, a very large society. At the Hotel de Russie 
the party is much smaller, and so very agreeable, that I 
think you would find it much pleasanter than dining in your 
own apartment." 

Mr. B.- — ^'Really? I would certainly make the experi- 
ment — for the novelty of the thing — could I induce Mrs. B. 
to consent. I will propose it to her — as a frolic." 

Mr. A. — " I hope you will succeed, Sir." And, so saying, 
he left him. 

Before we started in the morning for the silver mine, our 
friend had called at the Hotel de Russie, to bespeak our 
places at dinner. In the dining-room he had met Mr. B., 
who told him that he was there for the same purpose ; 
having, though certainly not without some difficulty, pre- 
vailed on his lady to consent. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 237 

We now, therefore, repaired to the table d'hote, with 
some curiosity to observe the effect it might produce on our 
fastidious countrywoman. As no single room in the Hotel 
de Russie was large enough to accommodate all the compa- 
ny expected, two were prepared ; and we had taken our 
chairs in the smallest, — because nearly every individual of 
the party, who usually dined there, was known to our friends. 
These were nearly all assembled when we entered, and 
among them were a Russian Prince, a German Count and 
Countess (the lady being a relation of the King of Bavaria), 
a German Baron of the Empire, and his lady, and several 
others ; — the party altogether amounting to about twenty ; 
— a pleasant and sociable sort of intimacy appearing to exist 
between them all. We had just taken our places, when the 
family of Mr. B. entered. It consisted of two ladies and 
three gentlemen. Mr. B. led in his lady; — and a stout- 
hearted Mr. B. he was, to venture upon bringing such a 
lady into a presence she deemed unworthy her greatness. 
The expression of her countenance, and, in particular, the 
attitude of her nose, which truly seemed 

" Commercing with the skies," 

presented, by far, the finest piece of comedy 1 ever saw off 
the stage. 

The noble party, seated at the table, bowed at their ap- 
proach. Mrs. B. instantly stood stock still — as if petrified 
by their audacity. 

" This, I believe, is the second table .?" said she aloud, 
turning her reproachful eyes upon her husband : — but, being 
assured by the civil attendants that it was at this table that 
her place was taken, she sat down ; — with much such an air 
as Juno might do, if obliged by the Thunderer to remain in 
company with some earth-born damsels, whom he favoured 
too highly. 

The dinner proceeded : it was really excellent — but the 
grimaces of Mrs. B. were better still. W^hen the soup was 
put before her, she shuddered ; and, making a sign with her 
hand that it should be removed, exclaimed — 

''Can they believe it possible that I should eat that ?" 

The unfortunate bouilli and cucumber, so little relished 



238 BELGIUM AND 

}3y the generality of the English, succeeded; then came some 
dish that she ventured to taste ; but though Mr. B. honestly 
and bravely pronounced, looking at her, too, almost full in 
the face, '^ This is very good," she ate it as if every mouth- 
ful w^ere a sacrifice offered on the altar of conjugal obedience. 
Mr. B. endeavoured to " look lively, and at his ease; and 
every now and then attempted to converse with his party : 
but his topics, chosen, perhaps, with the amiable wish of 
propitiating his lady, were not particularly new. 

" It is certainly very singular, that no nation but the Eng- 
lish can learn the elegancies of life — no salt-spoons, you see! 
and fish after fricandeau! — so absurd!'^ 

Just at this moment, the Countess, who was seated at the 
head of the table, took off her bonnet, which one of the 
noblemen near her received from her hand, and hung upon 
a peg against the wall. I have seldom seen a lovelier, or 
more dignified head than this action made visible. Her beau- 
tiful hair was very tastefully arranged, and confined by a 
bandeau, which passed across her fine forehead. Mrs. B.'s 
horror was now at its zenith. Her look plainly spoke her 
complete conviction, that she was in very bad company in- 
deed; — and her indignation found vent in a whisper, not 
quite audible, which speedily induced her vexed and peni- 
tent husband to lead her out of the room. 

That cases, so extreme as this, of blundering fastidious- 
ness, occur but seldom, I am willing to admit; but that they 
should occur at all is to be lamented : and the more so, as 
the effect, left upon the memory of those who witness them, 
is much deeper than they deserve, and tends to confirm and 
justify that dislike of English manners, which is so general 
on the continent. Another instance of the same sort of tem- 
per occurred a short time before, at one of the less frequent- 
ed springs. A party had remained together for some weeks, 
were nearly dispersed, three only remaining. These were 

the Baron F , who had been Minister from his own 

court to that of St. James's ; a general officer, who was 
governor of the district; and a nobleman who had the 
honour of being related to the Royal Family of Prussia. 
They were standing at the window of the dining-room, in 
which the reduced table d'hote was about to be served, when 
an English carriage, with two young men in it, drove to the 
door. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 239 

The tnree gentlemen congratulated each other upon this 
augumentation of their small party ; and when the door 
opened, and the young men entered the room, they were 
greeted by a smiling bow from each of its occupants. 

Without taking the slightest notice o'f this salutation, one 
of the Englishmen, pointing to the table said, " Qu^'est que 
c'est que cela ?" 

" La table d'hote Monsieur," replied the waiter, '^ on va 
servir a Pinstant." 

'^Table d'hote!" exclaimed the indignant young traveller, 
^^ we never dine in public. Sir." 

And, having spoken these awe-inspiring words, he strut- 
ted out of the room, to the extreme amusement of the noble 
natives. 

It is vexatious to hear such stories as these, knowing them 
to be true, yet knowing, at the same time, that they no more 
furnish a likeness to the better species of English, than do 
the caricatures in the print-shops of the Palais Royal. But, 
of all countries in the world, it is most vexatious that this 
vidgar sort of ostentation should be displayed before the no- 
bles of Germany. They too have pride, and in abundance, 
perhaps; but they keep it as they do their armorial bearings 
— it belongs to their house, but it is seen rather on the coat 
of their footman than on their own. Their nobilitv, how- 
ever, is never lost sight of, or forgotten; and the}^^ have, 
therefore, no need to take any ostentatious or ungraceful 
means of proving its existence. Where every one knows 
his place, and keeps it, there can be no danger of jostling. It 
is the eternal effort of every set amongst us to elbow them- 
selves into the places next above them, which occasions that 
sort of self-protecting attitude so extremely distasteful to peo- 
ple of all classes on the continent. 

A German tradesman has, at no time, the slightest inten- 
tion of being mistaken for a German noble: nor has the no- 
ble any fear of being classed as a tradesman; and it is this, 
as I imagine, that produces the remarkable difference be- 
tween a mixed assembly of English and a mixed assembly of 
Germans. 

But, unhappily, the present is no time for us to hope that 
we may follow their excellent example: it is not while an 
active and powerful party are directing all their efforts to 



240 BELGIUM AND 

break down the barriers which mark the different classes of 
society, that it would be wise to advocate such a tone of man- 
ners, as might aid the work of anarchy among us. It is not 
in England, divided against herself, as she now is, that this 
graceful, easy, benevolent sort of intercourse between all 
ranks can exist. A little reflection on the subject might, 
nevertheless, teach the gently-nurtured classes of England to 
walk more fearlessly over the uninclosed field of German 
society. The delicate and inoffensive lines of demarcation 
are sufficiently visible ; and, where none are inclined to 
remove them, there can be no necessity for erecting palisa- 
does, chevaux-de-frise, or any other style of hostile barrier. 
These could but disfigure the graceful and harmonious 
arrangement, and should never be resorted to but in cases of 
absolute necessity. Happy the land where such necessity 
exists not ! This is one of the points in which we must 
shrink back from a comparison with ^'well-ordered Ger- 
many;" and the mortification of allowing this is the greater, 
because every genuine description of our national manners, 
as they were in the days that are gone, gives as delightful a 
picture of the tie that united us all, with no entanglement 
from the doubtful situation of any, as Germany herself can 
show. 

Wo betide those who would remove the sacred land- 
marks, that have served us so long and so well! Should they 
succeed, our best and wisest will forsake us— ^absenteeism 
will become as general in England as in Ireland — and those 
who have done the work will then have leisure to gaze upon 
it ; while drooping commerce, expiring art, outraged reli- 
gion, and polluted learning, shall each raise a dying voice, 
to thank the parricide patriots as they deserve. * * 

Wiesbaden is now considered as the capital of Nassau, 
and is, in fact, the seat of government ; but there is no 
point of the duchy which does not appear to be often bene- 
fited by the immediate influence of this amiable and popular 
sovereign. From all I heard, it should seem, that his with- 
drawing his presence, long together, from any part of his 
small but beautiful dominions, would be more likely to cause 
disaffection among his subjects than anything else he could 
do. To avoid this, he divides the year among several resi- 
dences ; and his arrival is hailed around each as a source of 



XVESTERN GERMANY. 245 

endeavouring to collect intellect sufficient to decide on what 
to do. With great difficulty, and much real suffering, I at 
length scrambled up to one of the little nooks, about six feet 
square, whereon grow the scanty vines* Here I took refuge, 
my eyes being relieved from the agony of gazing on the depth 
below, by the grape leaves: among which I placed myself, 
while my kind and merciful companions, laughing as little 
as they could, took measures to release me. As I sat alone 
on this tiny platform, studiously avoiding to look upon the 
beautiful river, into which I could easily have dropped a 
pebble, I remembered too late the poet's warning — 

** Seek not the giddy crag to climb, 
To view thetiiiTet scathed by time; 
, It is a task of doubt and fear 

To all but goat, or mountain deer." 

But, unfortunately, no such wisdom was in my thoughts, 
when it might have availed me. 

It was not long before my two friends returned wnth a 
rope, obtained at Welmich; this they fastened round the stem 
of one of the vines, and by means of holding it in my hand, 
I gained sufficient courage to get below the perilous turning, 
which, good cragsmen as they were, both confessed to be 
frightful. The danger once over, however, I could myself 
laugh at the excess of terror I had felt, and fully enjoyed the 
scene that awaited my arrival at the foot of the rock. The 
whole population of Welmich v^^as out to receive me, which 
at this hour consisted of women and children, the men being 
at work in the neighbouring mines. These poor people had 
seen my situation, and appeared to watch my descent with 
much interest; though they must have thought the danger 
altogether imaginary, as they ail climb like goats, and dress 
their vines in places where to me it seemed impossible to 
stand. 

After this adventure, we entered a little gasthaiis (An- 
glice, inn), and asked for milk and brantwine. Of the first 
they brought a small cup, perfectly sour; of the last they had 
none, but produced some villainous schnapps insteiid. Having 
reposed for^ few moments, we asked the sulky-looking, 
heavy-browed Caspar Melchior, — for such was the doubly 
regal name of the host — what we were to pay. He told us 



246 BELGIUM AND 

we had better return, after the walk we proposed taking up 
the valley, and we should pay him then. To this we agreed, 
leaving a cloak or two that had been brought in the boat. 

We then proceeded in our walk, which must not be de- 
scribed, lest the wild and lovely beauty of the ravine, through 
which it led us, should tempt to a wordiness of admiration, 
-^notthe less wearying to the reader, from being only half as 
much as might be said of it. We passed the mouth of a 
mine, whence Henry brought some beautiful specimens; 
found the best possible point from whence to look at the 
spreading ruin of the Rhinefels on the opposite bank of the 
river; collected some lovely wild blossoms; and then re- 
turned to the gast-haus of Caspar Melchior. I thought the 
looks of this man exceedingly detestable at our first visit: 
never did a countenance more candidly confess' its owner's 
character. We repeated our demand of ^^ what have we to 
pay?" and, after a little hesitation, he demanded a dollar. 
Our boatman, who had come up to meet us, laughed, but 
said nothing — "Half a dollar then," said Melchior. The 
boatman again shook his head; upon which I laid upon the 
table a sum, which I knew to be more than double his due, 
and we walked oflf with the boatman, and the lad who ac- 
companied him to tow us up. On reaching the landing- 
place we found Melchior already there, foaming with rage. 
The boatman made a sign to us to embark, which we did, 
while the lad fastened the rope round his shoulders, and pre- 
pared to draw us on. Seeing this, Melchior drew a large 
open knife from his bosom, and sprung upon the boy, who 
saved himself by instantly yielding the towing-rope to his 
hand. Having thus made us his prisoners, he again ap- 
proached the boat, armed with his frightful knife. Never, 
certainly, did three men, in very great and justifiable anger, 
behave better than my two young men and our boatman. 
The ruffian Melchior was a pitiful little fellow that either of 
them might have jerked into the river in a trice; but it was 
plain he rested his security on my terror of a fray; and he 
was right, both as to my feelings, and their attention to them. 
I prevailed on them to let the boatman give him the half- 
dollar he clamoured for, and we departed. 

Our first feeling, after this outrageous assault, was naturally 
a wish to bring the ruffian to legal punishment; but remem- 



WESTERN GERMANY. 247 

bering that St. Goar was in Prussia, and Welmich in Nassau, 
we thought any process against him must give more trouble 
than he was worth, and the idea was abandoned. 

If any scene could have charms sufficient to soothe the 
disagreeable irritation produced by this adventure, it was 
that which surrounded us on our twilight return to St. Goar. 
The ripple of our boat, as it passed through the water, with 
now and then a few strokes of the oar, to assist the towing- 
rope, was the only sound that broke the profound tranquillity 
of the evening. The river never looks so lovely as at this 
hour; like beauty beheld through a veil ; every feature is 
softened and harmonized; and the imagination, delighted 
with all it sees, is in a mood to ascribe a charm, more per- 
fect still, to all it does not When we reached St. Goarhau- 
sen, the lad, who towed us, sprung into the boat; and we 
could have been well contented had our two oars pulled us 
across to. our hotel less hastily. But though the voyage 
was short, it had sufficed to calm our angry feelings. Cas- 
par Melchior was almost forgotten; and if, as we took our 
delightful Francfort tea, we exclaimed, "Bless me, how re- 
freshing!" it was by no means in the spirit of Lady Worm- 
wood. 

While thus engaged, and with our lamp placed at the 
farthest extremity of the room, to prevent its glare from in- 
terfering with the silver grey of the landscape, we were 
agreeably surprised by the notes of a French horn, ex- 
tremely well played, immediately below our windows; and 
more delighted still, when the same notes, repeated from the 
other side of the water, sunk away into a most delicious 
*' dying fall" in the distance. Then the horn blew a blast, 
sharp, loud, and strong, and presently it was answered, not 
'by one only, but by many in succesvsion; the last being evi- 
dently stationed amidst the ruins of the Rhinefels, at a short 
distance below. While we were still listening with mixed 
wonder and delight, the waiter entered to express his hope 
that we were pleased with the echo. Pleased we assuredly 
where; yet, even after this explanation, some feeling of 
doubt rested with us all, as to the possibility of a duet so 
perfect being thus performed. To increase our wonder, or 
to remove our scepticism, the performer ran through a mul- 
titude of capricious passages on the instrument, which were 



S48 BELGIUM And 

each and all repeated with such clear and smooth distinct- 
ness, that I began to think the sweetest orchestra in the 
world was to be found amid the rocks of St. Goar; and that, 
one single human leader being provided, to give the spirits 
the key, no better music need be wished for than its haunted 
hollows could furnish. 

The next morning our party divided; Mr. H. placing 
himself on a mass of rock on the edge of the river, to take 
a sketch of the "cat and mouse," as countrymen called the 
two ruined castles on the Nassau side; while Henry and I set 
off to look at the celebrated Lurleyberg, amidst whose inacces- 
sible caverns dwells, as the neighbouring peasantry believe 
to this day, one of that pretty amphibious class of spirits 
which is called Undine. Below this rock is the well-known 
whirlpool, called the Gewirr; and nothing but the most re- 
solute determination not to listen to her sweet beguiling voice 
can save the navigators who pass it from being engulphed. 
Though this danger is, as every body declares, so well 
known, and the security of the precaution, if obeyed, so per- 
fect, it nevertheless frequently happens that men perish be- 
neath this stupendous rock. Unhappily, this part of the 
story is no fable. The immense rafts, by which the timber 
of the Black Forest is brought down the Rhine, often lose, 
in rough weather, one or more of their men at this point of 
their voyage. That portion of the numerous crew which 
is stationed at either end of the vast machine, with oars to 
accelerate and guide its movements, are very liable to be 
dashed from their wet and slippery stand by the violence of 
the struggling eddy which they have to combat; and not un- 
frequently the thongs connecting the various portions of the 
raft together give way, putting life and property to desperate 
peril. There is something very poetical in the superstition 
which has grown out of this danger. This Lurley rock is 
a spot so awfully beautiful, and the echo which every sound 
awakens so likely to captivate and enthral the attention, the 
whole of which is wanted for the difficult task of navigating 
the dangerous Gewirr, that it is not difficult to understand 
how the legend arose, nor how it has been so long believed. 

The walk from St. Goar to the grotto by the roadside, 
immediately opposite this remarkable rock, is one not easily 
to be rivalled in any country. All who have been upon the 



WESTERN GERMANY. 249 

Rhine, or its banks, will probably remember to have heard 
the report of a gun, and a few notes from a French horn, as 
they passed this spot. They are produced by a man, who 
spends his life, or at least his summer life, under the scanty 
shelter of this grotto, for the purpose of awakening the 
marvellous echo of the Lurleyberg for their amusement. 
We sat down with him, and he seemed exceedingly happy 
to talk a little. He spoke extremely good French, and en- 
tertained us with the popular legends of the most cele- 
brated places, in that most superstitious of all regions. The 
Pfalz, the Gutenfeis, the Rummelstein, the Schonberg, were 
all, according to him, the scenes of most dire and dreadful 
transactions; and so many holes, caves, whirlpools, and 
eddies, are haunted by divers kinds of spirits, that it was 
only necessary to treasure, with due faith, a small portion of 
his chronicles in the memory, to believe that every leaf that 
moved in- the breeze spoke with "most miraculous or- 
gans." 

In the course of our conversation, he gave us to understand, 
that it was he who had played a duet with the echo the night 
before, for our amusement. I told him that I believed it 
was all a trick, and that some one was stationed on the op- 
posite bank, to produce the illusion. 

" Vous le croyez, Madame?" said he, quietly; and, taking 
the instrument in his hand, he produced one of the wildest 
and prettiest capriccios I ever heard. We listened for what 
was to follow, and, for an instant, I felt disposed to believe 
that his performance was intended to prove me right; but 
then began the response; and on it went, through every 
sweet vagary, so clear, so firm, so perfect, that the pheno- 
menon might well give rise to superstition through all the 
Country round. 

Having enjoyed our surprise and admiration, he changed 
the conversation, by observing that we had met with a 
troublesome adventure the last evening. We expressed our 
surprise at its having reached him. 

"My home is at St. Goar," he replied; "and Melchior 
is too well \inown partout, for such a story not to be talked 
of." He then proceeded, in his narrative vein, to tell us 
that this Caspar Melchior had a brother, who resembled him 

32 



250 BELGIUM AND 

perfectly in his morale^ though totally unlike him in phy- 
sique, for he was a perfect Hercules; whereas the Melchior 
we had seen was comparatively a pigmy. These two men, 
he said, had been guilty of repeated acts of violence, which 
had exposed them, to temporary punishment; but that crimes, 
much w^orse than any yet proved upon them, were strongly 
suspected. He hinted something of a traveller, who had 
complained of extortion, and had never afterwards been 
heard of; and he remarked, that miners had opportunities 
of doing dreadful deeds. He talked so long, and so elo- 
quently, upon this theme, that I began to be very thankful 
the river flowed between us and this fearful Melchior; and 
I would not recommend travelling ladies, who, like myself, 
may love a solitary ramble up these romantic .chines, to in- 
dulge the fancy where the population are chiefly miners. 
We extended our walk about a mile beyond the grotto; and, 
while retracing our steps towards St. Goar, had the good 
fortune to be overtaken by one of those prodigious accumu- 
lations of timber, in the shape of a raft, of which we had heard 
so much. On the Neckar, the Main, and the Mourg, I had 
seen the constituent parts of this gigantic whole; but neither 
the number of these, nor all I had been told of the magni- 
tude of this monstrous fabric, had at all prepared me for its 
vast extent, or the singular effect of the numerous popula- 
tion it carried, which amounted, as we were told at St. Goar, 
to nearly four hundred men. 

Fortunately for the gratification of our curiosity, we were 
exactly so placed as to see it pass the whirlpool; and, upon 
this occasion, I am happy to say, that the quadruple row of 
stout rowers, at each end, evidently thought more of attend- 
ing to the preservation of their lives, than to the syren voice 
of the Undine of the Lurleyberg: for, with equal judgment 
and strength, they made the flexible divisions of this enor- 
mous length bend and twist through the tortuous passage 
in perfect safety. The moment this was achieved, the whole 
crew uttered a joyous shout ; and then Undine answered, 
but so cheerily, that this time it w^as evident she had no sin- 
ister object in view, and raised her voice only as a vivat to 
their success. In the middle of this floating plain was placed 
a lofty stage, on which stood a man, who seemed on the 



WESTERN GERMANY. 251 

look-out, and to command the movements of the rest: — there 
were also six very comfortable little dwellings, with glazed 
windows, at different parts of the fabric: — in short, the little 
rafts we had seen dashing down the rapids of the Mourg 
were, in comparison to this, of which they perhaps made 
part, like a single house to a large city. Before we reached 
the hotel, we were passed by the two steamboats of the day. 
Both had much company, and many carriages on board; but 
that which was going down had by far the most, giving indi- 
cation that the height of the season was past. 



252 BELGIUM AND 



CHAPTER XVIIL 



" God save the King" — ^Village School — Prussian Education — Freedom 
of the Press-— National Education — The Rhinfels — Country above St. 
Goar — Students — Smoking" — Churches — Excursion to Rhinstein — The 
Pfalz — Bacharach — Prince Frederick's Castle — Caspar Melchior — 
Nassau Scenery — Boating disagreeable — Star-light — Vine-dressers. 

While loitering through the streetof St. Goar, — if that may 
be called a street, which is open on one side to the river, 
— we were surprised at hearing our own beautiful national 
hymn pealing from a large building near it. I doubt if the 
most heartless radical could hear " God save the King," in 
a foreign land, without some pleasurable emotion; for my 
part, I could not resist the temptation to enter the open door, 
and discover who the parties were, who showed so excellent 
a taste in choosing an air, let the vvords to which they ap- 
plied it be what they might. This building Ifound was used 
as a school-house, and on each side the door had a large 
room, one for girls the other for boys. It was the male part 
of this youthful population whose shrill voices were pouring 
forth the notes so familiar to our ears. They sung the air in 
parts, and with wonderful correctness. Our accidental visit 
to this school led me to make some inquiries concerning it 
of our civil and intelligent landlord. In this little village, 
as in every other part of the kingdom of Prussia, the educa- 
tion of the people is the business of the state. So deeply are 
the benevolent and philosophical lawgivers of this enlight- 
ened country impressed with the belief that the only sure 
method of rendering a people pre-eminently great and 
happy, is to spread the light of true knowledge among them, 
that the government leaves not the duty of providing instruc- 
tion for the children of the land to the unthinking caprice of 
their ignorant parents; but provides for them teachers and 
books; selected with a degree of vigilant circumspection 
which would do honour to the affection and judgment of the 
tenderest father. Nor is this all :^ — not only are the means 



WESTERN GERMANY. 253 

of instruction thus amply and admirably provided, but the 
children of the people are not permitted to absent themselves 
from school on any plea except that of sickness, which must 
be authenticated by the certificate of a physician. 

This system, already so prolific of the happiest results, has 
attracted the attention of all Europe ; and England, among 
the rest, is said to be taking a lesson on this most important 
branch of government, from the benignant absolution of 
Prussia. Assuredly she cannot do better; but let her not 
put in action one part of this immensely powerful engine, 
while another part, on which the whole utility of its move- 
ment depends, is left neglected. Wo betide the politician 
who shall labour to enforce, by law, the art of reading; while 
he slothfully, viciously, or from party spirit, continues to 
advocate the unrestricted freedom of a press, which fills every 
village-shop with blasphemy, indecency, and treason! Let 
him not dare to imitate the pure and holy eiforts of Prussia, 
to spread the blessing of knowledge through the land, till he 
has manfully set to work to purify the source whence it is to 
flow. He, who shall best succeed in making the power of 
reading general throughout England, while this monstrous 
mass of impurity is permitted to spread its festering influ- 
ence through the country, will have a worse sin to answer 
for, than if he forced all to drink of a stream he knew to be 
poisoned. In Prussia, the purity of all that issues from the 
press has become so completely a source of national pride, 
that, were the parental care which guards it withdrawn, it 
would, I have been well assured, be long before vice would 
grow sufficiently audacious to attempt speaking by so uncor- 
rupted an organ. Infamy would dog the heels of the pub- 
lisher, and prompt justice be done on the miscreant author, 
Who should dare to violate the sacred pledge, given by the 
king to the people, that sin shall not be the fruit of that know- 
ledge which he has thought fit to enforce. 

Another vitally essential part of the Prussian scheme of 
national education is its watchful religious superintendance 
of practical morality. 

It is so very easy a thing to teach children to read and 
write, that, were these the only objects in view, it would be 
scarcely worth while for the government to interfere about 
the business. A very poor man may contrive to pay two- 



254 BELGIUM AND 

pence a week to obtain this for his children; and multitudes 
may easily get my lord, or my lady, or the squire and madam, 
to pay it for them. But it is the cautious, systematic selec- 
tion of persons proper for the office of teachers, and the im- 
possibility that individual whim should interfere in the choice 
of them, which can alone ensure a profitable national edu- 
cation. 

And how is this all-important business transactedwith us? 
In some places, a teacher is appointed by the clergyman, who 
would regulate his parish school with the same anxious care 
which he exercises in the government of his own family. In 
others, some vain and canting Lady Bountiful has the power 
of nomination, — and selects a person who shall look sharply 
after the uniform, and take care that the children show them- 
selves off well, upon all public occasions. 

In one village, a staunch constitutional Tory shall exert his 
utmost influence that the little people about him may be 
brought up to fear God and honour the king. He may watch- 
fully see them led to the venerated church of their fathers^ 
and teach them to look up, with equal love and respect, to 
the institutions of their country. 

In the very next, perhaps, a furious demagogue may insist 
that every lesson shall inculcate the indefeasible right to re- 
bel. A.nd, if the poor rogues be taught any religion at all, 
it may be with the understanding that each and every of 
them, when they are big enough, will have as good a right to 
be paid for preaching as the parson of the parish. 

What can that whole be, which is formedof such discord- 
ant elements? And would it not be better for our rulers even 
to enforce such a mode of instruction as might give a chance 
of something like a common national feeling among the people 
of England, instead of letting them be blown about with 
every wind of doctrine, as they are at present? 

In coming up the river, one of the objects which strike 
every body, as being among the most picturesque and noble 
on its banks, is the ruin of the Rhinfels. Its fine position, 
and the contrast, between the colour of its wide-spreading 
walls and the dark background afibrded by the wooded hill 
behind, bring it out upon the eye, as the boat swings round 



WESTERN GERMANY. 255 

the sudden turn of the river at Wilmich, in the most impo- 
sing manner. 

To explore every corner of this majestic pile, was one of 
the projects w^hich helped to decide us rn fixing on St. Goar 
for our head-quarters^ during the week devoted to our Rhe- 
nish rambles. In addition to its magnificent aspect, it had 
the attraction of much historic interest. The original for- 
mation of a stronghold on this commanding point was con- 
ceived by Count Diether, the first of Katzenellenbogen, in 
1242; — a personage whose name figures so frequently in 
Rhenish history, that this spot on which his ambition and 
rapacity made the boldest stand, and occasioned the most im- 
portant consequences, cannot be passed with indifference. It 
is recorded that this Count Diether built the fortress of the 
Rhinfels for the purpose of enforcing tribute from all the boats 
that passed it; and it was to contest this self-constituted right, 
that the first celebrated Confederation of the Rhenish towns 
was formed, w^bich ultimately produced the destruction of 
nearly all the strongholds on the river. Having repeatedly 
changed masters, it came at length to be annexed to the ter- 
ritory of Hesse-Cassel, when an immense sum was expended 
to repair and enlarge its fortifications; but, in 1794, it fell, 
after a very short, defence, into the hands of the French re- 
volutionary army, and was subsequently destroyed by gun- 
powder. Full of all these interesting reminiscences, we ap- 
proached the venerable remains by a beautiful terrace road 
that, cut in the side of the hill, shaded by noble trees, and 
commanding, Cat, Mouse, and river, to perfection, leads up 
to it from the town. We found that, notwithstanding its 
ruined appearance, all its outworks were not destroyed; for, 
though we peeped in through various apertures, the only en- 
' trance Was by a padlocked gate. After some time, however, 
we succeeded in discovering where the key was deposited, 
and obtained admission by the payment of a trifling fee, and 
the penalty of being followed, through our romantic, enthu- 
siastic, antiquarian researches, by a guide whose explanation 
we did but half understand. This last circumstance was, 
however, of small importance, as we discovered forthwith; — 
for no explanation of the present, no legendary lore of the 
past, could give interest to the dusty accumulation of stone 
and mortar that surrounded us. I will certainly never again 



256 BELGIUM AND 

take any particular trouble to visit the remains of a dilapi- 
dated fort; so utterly devoid do they appear to me of all 
those features which excite the imagination when penetrating 
among the reh'cs of a baronial castle. All, I think, that can 
be said or felt concerning the one is, that the position was 
good or bad; while every gateway, every turret, every stair- 
case of the other, sets all the poetry of the spectator to work, 
and leads him, at once, into the region where fancy best loves 
to wander. 

From the imposing aspect of this most deluding ruin, as 
it appears from the Rhine, I really expected to find something 
almost as glorious as Hiedelberg; — but a comparison between 
Tintern Abbey and a dilapidated limekiln would not be at 
all more extravagant. To a military man, however, it may, 
perhaps, be full of interest;™ but let no woman ever more 
break her shins, or dust her sandals, among the unromantic 
^e*?»m of the Rhinfels. 

The road which continues from this enormous fort to the 
top of the hill, is well worth following, for the sake of the 
view it commands. But a still more beautiful walk, to the 
fine table-land above St. Goar, is by the side of a winter 
watercourse, the path to which commences at the other end 
of the town. This path was not followed without some 
struggle with my constitutional dislike to precipices; but the 
effort was well rew^arded. 

Having attained the summit, a perfectly new style of 
country opened before us. While labouring up the steep 
ascent, I expected to find the top barren and rugged; instead 
of whichj I was in the midst of corn-fields and orchards. A 
dozen villages reared their towers and spires over the plain, 
and, could 1 have forgetten whence I came, I should have 
thought myself in a well-cullivated level coimtry. After 
walking half a mile inland, the river is entirely lost, and the 
opposite cliffs seem within twenty minutes' walk. We spent 
three or four very delightful hours in wandering about these 
mountain corn-fields. Henry found them peculiarly rich in 
fossil remains — Mr. H. in picturesque effects—and I in all 
sorts of delightful novelty. 

In consequence of a somewhat imprudent variation of our 
course, by which we intended both to change and shorten 
the road home, we descended into a little green valley, — 
running parallel to the Rhine, — with the notion of following 



WESTERN GERMANY. 257 

the banks of the stream that watered it, thinking it must in- 
evitably lead us to the river. And so indeed it would, could 
we have contrived to wade through the marshy ground that 
intervened; but, this being deemed impossible, we had the 
further imprudence to cross the stream, and mount the oppo- 
site woody hill ; where a path, through its beautiful beeches, 
seemed evidently leading towards the river. Having fol- 
lowed this path for some time, always mounting, we found 
ourselves, at length, upon a projecting point of rock, face to 
face with the Lurleyburg. I was considerably startled at per- 
ceiving how far we were from home; — but no fears, either 
of darkness or distance, could check our exceeding delight 
in finding ourselves on such a spot. — How very little do 
those who navigate the Rhine, guess what scenes are within 
their reach !--The Lurley rock, and its w^hirlpool, which 
make the whole of the vaunted beauty of the pass below, ap- 
peared, from the point where we stood, but as features in the 
magnificent landscape: and we looked upon the abrupt turn- 
ings of the river, which form what has been called the 
"rocky basin of St. Goar," as upon one little but lovely 
variety in its widely-followed course. There could hardly 
be a stronger proof of the surpassing beauty of this spot, than 
my long and total forgetfulness of its distance from St. Goar. 
Could we, indeed, have contrived to leap, like squirrels, from 
bough to bough, till we had reached the bottom, we should 
have found ourselves exactly at the grotto of the horn- 
blower. But, to find a footing, among the crags which the 
matted foliage covered, would have been nearly impossible, 
even for my companions; and for me, it would certainly 
have been as reasonable to take to the squirrel mode at once, 
as to attempt it. — So, refreshing ourselves with one last look, 
op and down the glittering stream, and over the extraordi- 
nary assemblage of objects, all in such exquisite keeping 
with its noble character, we turned away, and patiently 
traced our steps back again, nearly as we came. Most cer- 
tainly I was very tired; but I would willingly endure double 
the fatigue, to stand again, for ten minutes, upon the point 
of rock opposite the Lurleyberg. 

The day which followed this expedition was Sunday. It 
was a jour de fete to many, and I never watched a Sabbath 
of more innocent enjoyment. The first party I saw, on look- 

33 



258 BELGIUM AND 

ing out of my beautiful window in the morning, was one 
composed of four youths, — the eldest I think under twenty, 
— who, from their dress and appearance, I have no doubt 
were students from Bonn. They had their breakfast-table 
laid on a sort of platform, on the other side of the road 
before our hotel, overlooking the river. The full morning 
sun shone upon them; but the freshness of the hour, and the 
delicious breeze from the water, prevented any annoyance 
from heat. It was a very interesting group — their animated 
young faces spoke the delight which the glorious scene 
inspired ; and they ate with the gay zest which exercise and 
health give to appetite. Yet, notwithstanding the double 
occupation of breakfasting, and looking at the view, each 
one had a small pocket volume beside him, which as the lin- 
gering meal went on, stole, now and then, a moment from 
the laughter and the din. All this was really delightful; and 
it was impossible not to sympathize in their enjoyment. 
But, alas! my next glance destroyed all the sympathy; and 
turned the pleasure of looking at them into positive pain;-- - 
for, in the hand of each, was an enormous pipe; — and the 
look of glowing animation which had so delighted me, was 
changed for the heavy quiescence of smoking. Could they 
but have seen themselves as they looked then, and as they 
had looked one short half-hour before, I think they must 
have foresworn the loathsome habit for ever. 

It is as much a subject of wonder, as regret, to see the ex- 
tent to which this unhappy infatuation is carried, among the 
young men of this most glorious country. Were they not 
so very fine a race, — were the noble and intellectual expres- 
sion of the young heads I saw at Bonn, Heidelberg, and else- 
where, less striking, — I should have witnessed this lamenta- 
ble degradation with more patience; but to behold these 
youthful features, one moment beaming with the finest ex- 
pression, and the next stultified by that look of ineffable stu- 
pidity produced by smoking, is really too vexatious. Could 
these young men be fully aware of the effect this habit pro- 
duces on their charming countrywomen, 1 am greatly tempt- 
ed to believe that it would soon get out of fashion. 

It was cautiously, and with the fear of giving offence, that 
I first touched upon the subject with some of the delightful 
women to whom I had the happiness of being introduced. 



WESTERN GERM-ANY. 259 

But I very soon found, that, the deeper the dislike 1 ex- 
pressed to smoking, the greater was the sympathy I found. 
I have often alluded to this subject already; and, as I shall 
recur to it no more, I will take this occasion to repeat the 
words that were said to me by two German ladies, who, in 
my opinion, possessed attractions enough to make their 
wishes, laws. I wish that I could, without impropriety, 
name them here, but this would not be fair; and I therefore 
refrain from adding the influence of their names to the 
strength of their words. 

"It is this," said one of these ladies, "which makes the 
society of foreigners so much too agreeable to us. A mouth, 
unconiaminated by a pipe, may win with words, which, if 
scented with tobacco, would be listened to with very differ- 
ent emotions." 

The moment I heard these words, I determined to print 
them, in the hope that they might preserve some still " un- 
razored lips" from the hateful taint. 

Another lady, as yet unmarried, and with a face whose 
delicacy seemed fitter to receive the gales of Eden than the 
fumes of tobacco, said to me, while we were discussing the 
same subject—" If I marry, I hope I shall love my husband 
well enough to forgive him ; — but I sometimes think it may 

be a dangerous experiment." 

*# ^ * * * * * 

There are two very old churches at St. Goar ; both of 
which formerly belonged to Jesuit communities. One of 
these is now Lutheran, the other remains Catholic ; there is 
much in both to gratify a curious hunter after antiquities. 
In the Catholic church, is a strangely uncouth figure of St. 
Goar, carved in stone, and said to bear a very remote date ; 
but the record of this we were unable to find on the stone. 
Legends connected with the name of this good Saint are still 
currently repeated ; — the exact situation of his hermitage is 
shown, and many tales are recorded of the miraculous aid 
he continually afforded to the mariners, who came within 
the danger of the Undine of the Lurleyberg. There are also 
some curious, and well preserved, old pictures in this church. 
To the Reformed church we were attracted by the full swell 
of their hymn, which never failed to draw me as near to 
it as possible. I know nothing more calculated to reach the 



260 BELGIUM AND 

heart than one of those solemn strains, poured forth by some 
hundreds of voices, among which, not one shall offend by a 
false note. 

We were in the act of mounting the hill when this burst 
of music induced us to enter a door, before which we were 
passing; when, to our surprise, we found ourselves in a 
gallery, looking down into a very old and very gloomy 
church. The same thing happened to us at the Catholic 
church ; for, while mounting towards the Rhinfels, and pass- 
ing the gable-end of what looked like a dilapidated barn, we 
were stopped by the sound of an organ, close to our very 
ears, and, entering a low door, we were in the organ-loft 
of the Catholic church. 

Some powerful voices were singing the vesper service; — 
so powerful, indeed, that our position became' painful, and 
we continued our walk. 

The following day we procured a very pleasant open car- 
riage, to take us to Rheinstein. This is one of the old 
Rhenish castles, and it has been recently restored by Prince 
Frederick of Prussia, as nearly as possible on the plan of the 
original construction. The identical walls have been pre- 
served wherever it was possible to do so, and they still form 
a considerable portion of the edifice. This singular and in- 
genious enterprise has been most beautifully executed ; and 
much antiquarian lore has been brought into action, both in 
the external masonry and in furnishing and fitting up the in- 
terior. It is now considered as a perfect specimen of the 
baronial dwellings of the sixteenth century. The road to 
this pretty play-thing led us through Oberwesel and Bacha- 
rach, and gave us, also, an opportunity of examining at our 
leisure the singular construction of the Pfalz; which, rising 
from a rock in the middle of the Rhine, has more the ap- 
pearance of a floating ark, with the addition of a tower or 
two, than any solid, earth-born edifice. There is a strange 
tradition extant, that all the ladies of the Counts Palatine of 
the Rhine were obliged to repair to this desolate little rock 
for the period of their accouchemens. The only entrance 
to it, now, is by an opening, which looks more like a hole 
than a door, and can only be reached by means of a ladder. 
It is to be hoped that the Palatinate Countesses had some bet- 
ter contrivance for getting within these dark and dismal 



WESTERN GERMANY. 263 

to see them, when they exchanged the falchion for the wine- 
cup. 

Beautiful and curious as this castle is, we should, perhaps, 
not have so greatly enjoyed seeing it, had not our imagina- 
tions been filled of late with thoughts of castles, knights, and 
armour. It is probably the last we shall see on the Rhine; 
and it serves admirably as an illustration of all the others. 
The ingenious antiquary has shown us at a glance, better than 
many volumes could have taught, what was the former as- 
pect of the rest. 

I owe the pleasure of seeing this curious, hieroglyphic 
commentary on the manners of the olden times, to the con- 
descension of her Royal Highness the Landgravine of Hesse 
Homburg, who had the kindness to tell me that I must not 
pass the Rhine without a visit to it. Her Royal^ Highness 
also told me, that festivals have been held there by the Prince, 
at which the banquet was surrounded with guests clad, with 
all possible historic fidelity, in the fashion of the sixteenth 
century. Our fancy balls are sometimes very pretty things; 
but, could an entertainment be given where the whole scene, 
as well as the guests, should tell thus learnedly of distant 
lands, or of distant times, it would approach very delight- 
fully to enchantment. 

We again passed an hour or two at Bacharach, on our return, 
this gave us an opportunity of seeing something more of this 
The delicate, Gothic arches of St. Werner's fairy chapel had 
captivated the fancy of Mr. H., and he wished to sketch it; 
very singular place. 

The old berg of Staleck stands aloft, as a look-out and ci- 
tadel; but no corner of the town itself is without a three- 
sided tower of defence. There are not less than twelve of 
'these, placed at intervals along the walls which surround the 
town. At Oberwesel, besides the beautiful white tower, 
which stands with such picturesque effect at the water's edge, 
and which is considered one of the finest objects on the 
river, there are fifteen of these same oddly constructed pre- 
parations for defence. It requires more learning than I pos- 
sess, to discover the mode in which they could have availed 
the besieged. The state of the country must have been fear- 
fully insecure, when it was thus needful that every little village 
should be protected by a wall completely surrounding it, and 



264 BELGIUM AND 

flanked by towers, from whence all comers might be chal- 
lenged. 

If the human race has learnt nothing else in its progress^ 
it has at least discovered how to live without being in eternal 
dread of destruction and plunder. 

Bacharach is famous for its wine trade, and every part of 
the town now rang with the sound of the cooper's hammer; 
the whole population being actively engaged in preparing 
their casks for the approaching vintage. We scrambled up 
into the vineyards, on the side of a hill, divided from the 
beautiful ruin of St. Werner by a very narrow valley, through 
which runs a stream watering the little town. The grapes 
were beginning to be delicious, and we ventured to refresh our- 
selves with a few of them. The vigneron was near, and made 
no difficulty of accepting a pecuniary apology for the liberty 
we had taken. The sketch finished, we returned to the town, 
where our coachman appeared to be rather impatiently wait- 
ing for us; and vve went back to a very late dinner at St. 
Goar. As soon as this repast was over, our civil landlord 
made his appearance, w^ith a message from one of the legal 
authorities of the place, signifying his wish to see the two 
gentlemen at his bureau. The mandate somewhat startled 
us; and as the hour was so late, the visit was postponed to 
the morrow. Immediately after breakfast they waited upon 
this official personage, who informed them that the conduct 
of Caspar Melchior had been reported to him; and that, 
having prepared 2. proces-verbal of the affair, upon the state- 
ment of the boatman, he wished to read it to them; and, if 
they found it correct, to request their signature. 

The boatman and his boy were both present; and the 
statement being duly read, and fully interpreted to all parties, 
their signatures were affixed to it, and the functionary dis- 
missed them; with the assurance that the document should 
immediately cross the river to Nassau, where a magistrate, 
residing at St. Goershausen, would use means to have the 
offender taken into custody before night. 

We afterwards heard that this had been done, and that 
he was to be tried for extortion and violence, the sen- 
tence for which would be some weeks' imprisonment. 
This he most assuredly deserved ; but it is probable that the 
man's previous character had sharpened the ears of justice 



WESTERN GERMANY. 267 

often suggested the idea of aerial music. I heard this con- 
stantly every night; and am almost ashamed to confess the 
thrilling effect it produced. 

The sober truth is, that, such a sufficient knowledge of 
music, as enables them to play on some instrument or other, 
is universal among the peasants of Germany. And we need 
not, therefore, have recourse to any supernatural agency, to 
account for the fiict, that music is often heard amongst them 
where it might be least expected. 

The boors of Germany have been represented, both by 
pen and pencil, as a coarse, rude, heavy race; but I suspect, 
that the glance, which sufficed to make this portrait, had 
little acuteness in it. Poor and laborious they are, and 
must be. Their mines lie deep in the earth — their vine- 
yards hang on beetling rocks ; — and the richness of the valley 
must be scattered over many a barren upland, or the Wide- 
spread race would perish. But this brings no degradation 
with it ; — nor can the active youth and vigorous age of their 
females deserve the scorn they have met; though strength, 
instead of softness of limb, be the result. The Gerrtian pea- 
sant girl, cultivating her rich flower-bed, and singing the de- 
licious strains of her country with taste and feeling, — accom- 
panied, perhaps, in both, by her lover, — certainly offers as 
refined a picture of rural life as we can hope to find any- 
where, beyond the bounds of Arcadia. And should a tinc- 
ture of superstition be added to this, and the wildness of 
nature give birth to some wildness of fancy, I suspect the 
tone of moral feeling is rather raised than lowered by it. 



Another pleasure, which I enjoyed from my window at 
'St. Goar, was watching the wine-dressers upon the hill op- 
posite. This steep and rugged height is covered with little 
patches of vines, divided from each other by masses of rock, 
and approachable only by the race who are native there. It 
is startling, before the spectacle has become familiar, to see 
the women clinging to the crags, and picking the leaves 
from the vines; which is done for the double purpose of 
admitting a sufficient portion of sun to the fruit, and of feed- 
ing the cows upon the leaves. 

I have watched these women, perched three hundred feet 



268 BELGIUM AND 

above the river, with a sheer precipice before them ; yet 
there they stood, without a thought of danger, picking a 
dozen leaves from half a dozen plants — for the plots often 
hold no more ; — and to this plot, and to a few others, as 
dangerous in position and as scanty in produce, it is half the 
business of their lives to climb ; sometimes with the manure 
which they carry up these rugged precipices in baskets, sup- 
ported on the head ; sometimes to prune the vines, some- 
times to pluck their leaves ; and at last, to gather their small, 
but precious produce. 

Excepting what is produced on the one farm of Johannis- 
berg, the wine produced on the rocks in this neighbourhood, 
and from thence called Stein, or rock wine, is among the 
finest that the Rhine produces ; and, for this reason, the la- 
bour bestowed on the vineyard is unsparing, and almost in- 
cessant. Nor is the labour of cultivation the only expense 
incurred; for the crumbling soil, in which the vines grow, 
can only be preserved from falling by terrace walls; which, 
at different points, and unequal distances, are continued up 
to the very top of the rocks. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 273 

comfort; but, unfortunately., the greater part of the distance 
was passed over in the night ; and, judging of the country 
we did not see by that which we did, our loss was much 
greater than the time we saved could atone for. The even- 
ing light served to show us Vilbal, and all the pretty scenery 
round it ; but after this, and watching the sun as he set glo- 
riously behind the Taunus hills, we had nothing but moon- 
light glimpses of the fine country we were passing. Even 
this, however, was enough to show that the long, broad 
street of Friedelberg, on the summit of a lofty hill, must be 
strikingly picturesque; and that the descent from it, upon a 
perfectly new country, would have well repaid the loss of a 
day to see. 

Vv'e breakfasted at Marberg; and, finding the coffee of the 
w^orst possible fabric, we armed ourselves each with a roll, 
and found time enough just to take a most tantalizing, dis- 
tant peep at the castle on the hill above it. — Such a castle! 
and in Westphalia too! — The very centre of all that is most 
mysterious in history, and most exciting in romance. But 
there stood the diligence, with horses all ready, and the horn 
of the conductor at his mouth! — and there stood I, inwardly 
vowing that I would never again chain myself in the same 
manner. For many miles, after leaving Marberg, its castle 
continues in sight, and, with the hill on which it stands, 
forms a magnificent object. 

The country, between this town and Cassel, is a succes- 
sion of finely-wooded hills, and well-watered plains ; which, 
when we passed them, had just yielded their abundant har- 
vest. — The chestnut, beech, and mountain-ash, grow here 
with uncommon luxuriance — the villages are frequent — the 
costume is singular and picturesque — and the whole scenery 
interesting in no common degree. 

We reached Cassel at six, having been twenty-four hours 
en route : — and, but for the impossibility of lingering by the 
way, when and where we wished, I should say that I had 
never made a journey of the same length with so little 
fatigue. 

Cassel is surprisingly beautiful. I had heard much of its 
fine position, and the splendour of its terrace, its cii-cus, and 
Platz Frederick; but I expected nothing equal to what I 
found: — and, as I despair of ever acquiring that last finish of 

35 



274 BELGIUM AND 

an accomplished traveller, the nil admirari^ — so general in 
these latter days, — I will honestly confess that its beauty and 
magnificence delighted me. The finest part of the town 
stretches along the brow of a steep hill, the longest level of 
which is laid out as a public garden, through which drives 
and walks are cut, with great taste and skill. At the bottom 
of this hill runs the river Foulde; — and close upon its oppo- 
site bank is the palace of the ci-devant King Jerome. The 
interior has been completely destroyed by fire; but the out- 
ward walls are sufficiently entire to render it a beautiful ob- 
ject. A rich, but narrow tract of land surrounds this palace; 
and beyond it rises the finest amphitheatre of hills I remember 
to have seen. The celebrated Platz Frederick is a square of 
enormous dimensions. Three sides of it are occupied by 
handsome buildings; — the Elector^s palace being one ; — and 
the fourth opens upon the public garden and the distant hill 
above, by a noble gateway ; through which, and the lofty 
iron railing on either side of it, the whole magnificent view 
is seen from every part of the square. This presents, beyond 
all comparison, a more splendid coup d'^ceil than any city I 
have yet seen can boast. On descending to the palace, its 
dismal and dilapidated slate is immediately perceptible. All 
that remains of its former elegance is the esplanade — still 
filled with superb orange-trees, — and the marble bath, which 
is said to be unequalled for the beauty and magnificence of 
its decorations. This building consists of one large marble 
chamber, adorned with twelve statues of excellent workman- 
ship, and many fine alto-relievosr-^the whole, I believe, from 
the hand of Stephen Monnot. In the centre is a swimming- 
bath, of most royal dimensions. We were told that Napoleon 
had bathed there, and that Jerome used it constantly. '' How- 
ever," continued our guide, with inimitable gravity, " the 
statement which you have doubtless heard, that his majesty 
used wine, instead of water, for his bath, is not at all cor- 
rect. — King Jerome constantly bathed in pure water." 

I know not how it happens that things, which, upon a 
reasonable valuation, appear equal in splendour, and, to the 
eye of sober criticism, equal also in grace, should produce 
upon the fancy effects comparatively different. Delicate as 
are the sculptures of this bath, it is easy to recall many, in- 
comparably superior; — and yet the idea of that high and 



WESTERN GERMANY. 275 

graceful chamber, its delicious coolness, and visions of the 
fair marble people, who seem so fitly to inhabit there, will, I 
think, rest upon my memory, when nobler works shall be 
forgotten. 

In the afternoon we drove to Wilhelmshohe, the principal 
residence of the Elector of Hesse. It is at present inhabited 
by his son and heir apparent; to whom he had resigned the 
government of his dominions, as well as his palace.* 

We had been constantly told by all Germans, to whom we 
had mentioned our intended route, that we should see, in 
this palace and its wonderful gardens, the most perfect speci- 
men of a royal residence in the world ; and, if I had never 
seen Windsor, I could readily believe that it is so. The build- 
ing, however, magnificent as it is, is a mere toy to Versailles, 
in point of extent; — but it is furnished as if Aladdin's lamp 
and ring had been the upholsterers; — and it stands on a ter- 
race equal in beauty, and superior in extent of view, to that 
of St. Germain. Yet, still, Windsor is as far superior to it, 
as the dominions of Great Britain are to those of Hesse Cas- 
sel. The gardens, however, which spread behind it, gradu- 
ally rising to the summit of one of the highest ridges in 
Westphalia, are, I truly believe, unique in beauty and mag- 
nificence. 

It is strange enough, that, when garden ground is laid out 
in some conformity with our ideas of natural beauty, it is 
still, even in Germany, called an "English garden." But 
this style of decoration is there found on so much larger and 
bolder a scale than with us, that it appears to me the epithet 
ought to be changed ; and, wherever groves take place of 
parterres, and forest paths of neatly edged gravel walks, it 
should be ca\\c6, par excellence, a German garden. At Wil- 
helmshohe, however, these are not the only features that dis- 
tinguish the princely pleasure grounds from those of ordi- 
nar}?^ mortals. There are buildings, which I suppose answer 
to our humble root houses and rustic temples, but vvhich might 
themselves serve as palaces. And there is an aqueduct, 
erected for the purpose of conveying a mountain stream to 

* The circumstance which led to this resignation, seem still to be a fa- 
vourite subject of gossip throughout Germany; but as they appear to be 
quite of a private nature, I shall not take the liberty of repeating them. 



276 BELGIUM AND 

form a sheet of water behind the palace, which rivals, in the 
loftiness of its magnificent arches, any of the finest structures 
of a similar kind, in the world. 

To our great regret, we found the famous Opera of Cassel 
closed; and we were told that it was not likely to be soon 
opened again. While it continues shut, the attraction of the 
city, as a residence, must be considerably lessened. Cassel 
has, still, however, many other recommendations. Ail the 
necessaries and luxuries of the table are in abundance and 
perfection, and at a very moderate price. The country is 
beautiful and rich in every species of interest; and it is not 
its least recommendation, as a residence, that the laws are so 
faithfully administered as to render the security of property 
greater in Cassel than in almost any other city in the world. 
No one thinks of using locks or bolts ; and any extortionate 
demand, or attempt at dishonest dealing of any kind, is sup- 
pressed in the most prompt and efi'ectual manner, on appli- 
cation to the police. This, too, is an absolute, arbitrary 
government, of which the sovereign is by no means popular ; 
— and yet, any one, who will take the trouble honestly to 
inform himself of the general feeling among the people, re- 
specting the political state of the country, will find its insti- 
tutions proudly boasted of, and their beneficial effects warmly 
acknowledged. Whenever I have been favoured in society, 
by the communication of information, or the expression of 
individual opinion, I have cautiously avoided alluding to it, 
while writing of the place where it was received; lest any- 
thing approaching to the impertinence of personal allusion 
should be suspected; — but, while carefully avoiding this, I 
may safely venture to state, generally, the result of all the 
information I have gathered. 

I have no business with the righteousness of the feeling, 
arise w^here it may; but the truth is, that, in many places, 
where nothing like discontent exists towards the present 
rulers, the ambition of being some day annexed to Prussia 
may very easily be discovered. It is not, however, by agi- 
tators or demagogues that this feeling is expressed. On the 
contrary, — it appears to result from that wish for a substan- 
tial, secure, and unvacillating government, which a philoso- 
phical contemplation of the present state of Europe has ge- 
nerated throughout the whole of Germany. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 277 

Where the smaller states have granted constitutions, and 
undermined the foundations of authority, by signing trum- 
pery charters concocted by a reckless set of noisy orators, 
the consequences have been uniformly injurious to the pros- 
perity of the people. Yet some, who had a prophetic con- 
viction that so it would be, have nevertheless yielded before 
the cuckoo cry for reform. 

This it is, which has turned the eyes of many towards 
Prussia. She, tranquilly firm in her just, undeviating policy 
stands like a tower of strength amidst the wavering, tot- 
tering politics of some of her neighbours. 

It may be objected, -to any opinion I may give as to the 
political feeling of Germany, that it is not in the course of 
a summer's tour, any important information on such a sub- 
ject can be obtained. Certainly, upon such an occasion, no 
information which does not lie upon the surface can be hoped 
for. Truth, however, is not the less truth, because it is ob- 
vious : — and it is not in stating what may be seen by all, 
that misrepresentation is most likely to occur. 

But, after confessing that my means of judging are such 
only as are open to every one, I venture to repeat, that a 
revolutionary spirit is not prevalent in any part of the coun- 
try through which I have travelled. That "• such a spirit 
is abroad,'^ to use the fashionable phrase, is most certain ; 
— and so is a spirit of drunkenness, and a spirit of gambling, 
and a spirit of robbing, and that in mor^icountries than one ; 
— yet it would hardly be fair to state that either of these 
spirits were about to rule the destinies of any land. 

I heard much ridicule from various classes, — and, decid- 
edly, not the least pointed from among the lower orders, — 
against the political enterprises and revolutionary snappings, 
which are continually exploding with the bustle and efi'ect of 
a cracker. The tone in which even our reform proceed- 
ings are canvassed, approaches sometimes very saucily to- 
wards quizzing. Nevertheless, the Germans are far from 
paying us in kind for the prophecies so often put forth in our 
journals, of their threatened insurrections ; for I continually 
heard it repeated, with great emphasis, that " England 
was not a country to be overthrown by the cabals of a 
7nob.^^ 



278 BELGIUM AND 

On leaving Cassel we engaged a carriage to take us through 
the Harz country, — (with the understanding that we were to 
pause when and where we chose,) — and then to proceed 
with us to Hanover ; on the very equitable condition that 
every additional day, beyond the time necessary for the ex- 
pedition, should be paid for at the same as if we were tra- 
velling. The scheme answered perfectly ; and to those who 
travel for pleasure, and not for business, it is unquestionably 
the most agreeable that can be adopted. 

We crossed the Foulde on leaving Cassel ; and our road 
continued near the stream, though we had to mount and de- 
scend some magnificent hills by its side. The scenery the 
whole way from Cassel to Miinden is beautiful. At the 
latter place we stopped for breakfast ; and while it was pre- 
paring we walked through the lovely meadows on the banks 
of the river. 

The Foulde joins the Werra at this place; — both here 
lose their name in that of the Weser ; — and the wild narrow 
little valley, through which they run before their confluence, 
is one of the prettiest spots imaginable. 

The first thing which caught my eye, on entering Miin- 
den, was the arms of England over the Post-office ; — by 
which we perceived that we were in the kingdom of Han- 
over. For some time, after we had left this curious old 
town, and its massive fortifications, falling into reluctant de- 
cay, the road continiied to be very beautiful, passing through 
a narrow valley close by the side of one of the brightest 
streams in the world. We afterwards mounted to a region 
of bare hills, and from this point to Gottingen there is little 
either of beauty or interest. 

Had not the Harz been before us, we should have seen 
more of this celebrated University ; but one professor, to 
whom we had an introduction, was out of town, and ano- 
ther was at a great distance from our hotel ; so we deter- 
mined to see all we could that evening, and not risk losing 
the lovely weather, which still followed us, by staying ano- 
ther day. 

The old fortifications round the town have been turned 
into public walks, and by following these we obtained a good 
general view of the town; which has, however, no beauty, 
either of situation or architecture, though some of the old 



WESTERN GERMANY. 279 

towers are curious and venerable. The buildings of the 
University appear by no means splendid ; and, such as they 
are, would be shown to greater advantage were they 
more separated from the town, which presses round them in 
every direction. The University library is preserved in a 
part of the old church, and we made some efforts to see it: 
but the lateness of the hour prevented our success. The 
moon was nearly at the full, and lengthened out the hours 
of light for us very pleasantly : — by her help we saw nearly 
every part of the city. 

Though I had here no opportunity of obtaining the in- 
formation I wished for, respecting this University, I had 
afterwards the good fortune of receiving, from a distinguish- 
ed friend at Hanover, very satisfactory details, not only re- 
specting Gottingen, but on the subject of education through- 
out Germany in general, and the kingdom of Hanover in 
particular. 

From the statements of this gentleman, which are of un- 
questionable authority, it appears that the number of profes- 
sors and teachers, in every part of the country, is much 
larger, in proportion to the population, than it is with us. 

In Hanover they have one University (Gottingen), with 
fifty professors, and forty private teachers ; — sixteen public 
schools of the first rank, in which 135 teachers are employ- 
ed ; — fourteen public schools of the second rank, with sixty- 
four teachers ; — and about 350 elementary schools. Out of 
900 students residing at Gottingen, about 600 are Hanove- 
rians. At the public schools of the first order there are 
2,200 pupils ; — at those of the second class, 2,100; — and at 
the elementary schools, 215,000. 

As the population of the kingdom of Hanover is only 
about 1,600,000, it is evident that the business of education 
is carried on there on a much more extended scale than in 
England, Ireland, or even in Scotland. 

Some judgment may be formed as to what ranks chiefly 
furnish students to the Universities of Germany, by the fol- 
lowing statement respecting Gottingen. In the year 1831, 
135 young men commenced their academic studies there. 
Fifty-nine of these were the sons of gentlemen employed' in 
public administration, and of lawyers, physicians, and other 
learned men; six were the sons of officers; five of landed 



280 BELGIUM AND 

proprietors; thirty-nine of tradesmen; and nineteen the sons 
of peasants or artisans. 

The idea, so prevalent everywhere, of the relaxed disci- 
pline of the German Universities, accords so ill with the 
equally general belief that the scholars they send out stand 
pre-eminently high, that I asked my friend to solve this pro- 
blem for me. This, I think, he has done satisfactorily, by 
referring simply to the rigorous examinations required be- 
fore any man can enter upon public life as a magistrate, pro- 
fessor, advocate, physician, &c. It clearly appears from the 
rank of the students, as stated in the account of the matricu- 
lations at Gottingen in 1831, that few among them are placed 
by fortune above the necessity of passing these all-impor- 
tant examinations well : and, where this is the case with 
the great majority, it is not surprising that even the wildest 
spirits should require no very rigorous discipline, in order 
to keep the one thing needful ever in view; nor that the 
love of frolic, however vehement, should fail to induce them 
to forget it. 

The Harz mountains become visible in the east a few 
miles after leaving Gottingen ; and, were it not for this, the 
landscape would have no great charm. We breakfasted at 
Nordheim, vv^here marks of a recent conflagration were pain- 
fully evident. And the movement and stir about the build- 
ings, which were beginning to rise from the ashes, were 
like the bustle in an ant's nest, after injury by some rude 
blov/. 

At this place w^e left the high road which leads from 
Francfort to Hombourg, through Cassel, Gottingen, and 
Hanover, and which may be called the great north road of 
Western Germany. We turned aside in order to pass 
through that renowned region of romance called the Harz ; 
and, above all, to visit the Brocken, universally ac- 
knowledged to be the scene of the wildest and most poetical 
superstitions of Germany. 

Almost immediately after leaving Nordheim the country 
begins to assume a more interesting character ; and the lit- 
tle village of Catlenbourg is one of those rare spots where 
every object seems placed on purpose to give pleasure to 
the ieye. From thence we proceeded to Osterode, the first 



WESTERN GERMANY. . 285 

It was very late before we reached Goslar; and here 
again the moon played us strange tricks. This place, by 
any light, presents a most strange, grotesque collection of 
architecturalantiquities; and by that of the moon, the "al- 
ternate ebon and ivory" took strange forms indeed. 

Goslar, the capital of the Harz, was once a city of much 
importance, and has more conspicuous traces of high anti- 
quity, in every part of it, than any town I have seen. It is 
of considerable extent, and our tired horses dragged the car- 
riage so slowly along the principal street, that I began to 
think some of the mystical powers of the region were at 
work, and that we were driving in a circle. At length, to 
my inexpressible joy, we stopped; and, to my equal sur- 
prise and delight, I found we had got to a most comfortable 
hotel, with an exquisite French waiter, and all appliances 
and means for welcome refreshment after our long day's 
journey.- 

We went to bed, however, with a good deal of anx- 
iety upon our spirits. The Brocken was within fifteen 
miles of us ; and to mount, or not to mount, was the ques- 
tion. 

We had been told by many, and particularly by our 
friend the hunter, that, if the weather were unfavourable, 
we should find the ascent a most fatiguing labour, and 
utterly fruitless: as, nine times out of ten, the top of the 
mountain is so enveloped in clouds as to veil every ob- 
ject below in impenetrable mist. Yet, still we held our 
purpose, and every arrangement was made for the expe- 
dition; though we were all aware that, in case a positively 
rainy day should rise upon us, we must in common prudence 
give it up. 

Our good star, how^ever, still prevailed. The morning 
was not bright, but it was dry; and a brisk wind gave us 
hope that the remaining clouds might all be so completely 
blown off, before evening, as to permit our seeing the sun 
set brilliantly from the Witches' Orchestra. 

We started for Ilsingbourg at half-past five. It is from 
this village that the most interesting ascent of the mountain 
is made ; but it is also the most difficult. This, however, 
we did not learn till afterwards; and I know not how to 
regret the ignorance which led us to take this route; for the 



286 . BELGIUM AND 

additional fatigue is of small importance, when compared to 
the pleasure it gave us. The road immediately after leaving 
Goslar, is very good; — being kept in repair for the sake of 
an important silver mine in the neighbourhood, the ore from 
which is conveyed to the town ; — but, having passed the 
mine, nothing beyond a rough, and sometimes indistinct 
track remained for us. This was not followed without diffi- 
culty, and something like danger too; however, both were 
happily overcome, and we arrived at the "Red Trout" at 
Ilsingbourg, in safety. A few miles from Goslar, we passed 
into the territory of Brunswick; and not long after into that 
of Prussia, where, on an open heath, and far from any habi- 
tation, we were stopped and closely inspected by two very 
strange-looking figures, who, however, declared themselves 
officers of the Prussian douane. If they really were so, I 
can only say that they were totally unlike, both in dress and 
demeanour, any officials of that country which we had before 
seen. Fortunatel}^, we had nothing to provoke a legal 
seizure, or to tempt an illegal one ; and the two rugged 
asserters of office departed, having examined, as I fancied, 
the strength of our party, as accurately as the contents of the 
carriage. 

Ilsingbourg is a wild-looking village, situated at the en- 
trance of a narrow gorge; through which dashes a mountain 
torrent, having there found its way from a spring amidst the 
mountains. I never saw^ an inhabited spot more fitted to be 
the scene of some dark deed, " done in the eclipse," than 
this Ilsingbourg. A barren waste leads to it ; a hundred 
hills, covered with tangled forests, fence it round ; and, high 
above their heads, rises the giant Brocken, amidst whose 
deep covers, superstition has been cradled for ages. 

We were shown into a long dark room at the '^ Red 
Trout," so filled with tobacco-smoke that it was a pain to 
breathe; and the countenances, seen through the vapour, 
were melo-dramatic in the extreme. As for the landlord 
himself, he looked exactly as if he could not order his ostler 
to saddle a mule, or signify to his hollow-eyed yraz/, the 
necessity for a fresh supply of schnaps, without raising the 
flap of his cloak to conceal his face, and muttering under 
his breath, " Feignons de feindre, afin de mieux dissimuler." 
In short, the place was a most fitting entrance to the forest 



WESTERN GERMANYo 287 

of the Brocken: — and, as we received the promise of " three 
mules and a trusty guide," to mount its bold summit, I felt 
a half real, half make-believe sort of shudder, at recollecting 
how extremely easy it would be to rob and murder us en 
route^ without any one ever hearing a word about it. 

These sublime forebodings, however, did not prevent my 
feeling conscious that I had eaten no breakfast, and much 
bustling activity was produced by our demand for eggs and 
coffee: but, v/hen I saw that part of this was directed to the 
removal of one or two idle pipes, which lay upon the table, 
and understood, thereby, that it was intended we should eat 
among the mining and charcoal-burning party, who sat 
smoking round it, I Braved all my terrors of the conspirator- 
like landlord, and boldly demanded another zwimer. I was 
sturdily told there was none other in ^Mhe Trout," and a 
very ominous scowl passed across his brow as he said it. At 
this critical moment my mother-wit came to my assistance. 
I had remarked, as I entered, that there was behind the 
house a garden, which, albeit all else about it was rude and 
cheerless, had the true German abundance of flowers. I 
felt sure, as I remembered this, that I had the key to his 
heart, as certainly as if one of his witch neighbours had 
given it to me. I praised his garden; — and asked leave to 
eat my breakfast in front of a prodigious bed of gilly-flowers. 
Upon this, his frown melted into a smile; he darted off, beck- 
oning me to follow him, and, in less than ten minutes, the 
best breakfast the house could furnish was spread in the open 
air. It is true that this air, which whistled down the valley 
upon us, bit shrewdly: — but, had it bit us to death, it would 
have been preferable to being stifled in the heavy vapour of 
tobacco. 



288 BELaiXTM ANP 



CHAPTER XX. 

Ascent of the Brocken — Charcoal-clearing's — Iron Cross — Confusion of 
Rocks — Desolation — Top of the Mountain — Brocken-House — Witches' 
Orchestra — Devil's Pulpit — Witches' Dog-stone — Sunset — Night Storm 
■ — Morning Clouds— Effect of the Wind — Descent from the Brocken— 
Eeturn to Goslar. 

At eleven o'clock the three mules were led to the garden- 
gate ; and I looked in the face of our guide to see what might 
be there threatened or promised. If eyes be the windows 
of the soul, through which its movements become visible^ 
this poor man afibrded but half the usual chance of discover- 
ing what was passing internally,— for he had but one. — The 
expression of his other features, however, was in no degree 
lessened by this misfortune: and if a kind and gentle nature 
could ever be unmistakenly read on any countenance, it was 
on his. 

The little village was soon passed; and we reached a green 
common, on which lay a great quantity of felled timber, in 
various stages of the process of sawing, and that of barking. 

The work-sheds are sheltered by many beautiful beech 
trees; and a broad, bright stream runs gaily among them. 
The road, which for the first two miles rises very gently, has 
been well rolled by the charcoal-carts; and, for that distance, 
a carriage might go with ease and safety. The same stream, 
which we saw on leaving the town, continues close beside 
the road, long after the ascent has ceased to be thus gentle ; 
and it gradually changes the character in which, as a quiet 
rivulet, it had refreshed the village common, into that of a 
dashing, bounding, rock-defying torrent. As this changed, 
so did the whole scenery change with it. The soft turf faded, 
withered, and was lost amidst rude blocks of granite, — some- 
times tangled over with moss and lichen, and sometimes dry 
and bare, as if just thrown from the crater of a volcano. As 
we toiled upwards, these increased in size; — the bright, gay 
green of the beech entirely disappeared; — and pines, dark, 
tall, and cheerless, encompassed us on every side. A more 



WESTERN GERMANY. 291 

If I could have spoken at all, I should have exclaimed 
with the Bruce— 

*' A scene so rude, so wild as this. 
Yet so sublime in barrenness 
Did ne'er my wondering footsteps press.'* 

By degrees the trees ceased altogether: the mosses and, 
lichen apparenily ceased with them; and a monstrous ex- 
panse, entirely covered by detached, bare, dry, sun-whitened 
rocks, stretched upwards and all round. It was a desert at 
which an Arab might tremble. 

The idea that I had Still to sit upon my weary mule amongst, 
and over, these steep, smooth crags, made me shudder. It 
seemed to be the exact spot which fiends would choose where- 
in to keep their holiday; and I almost expected to hear imp- 
ish laughter from behind some of the stones, or out of the 
hollows between them, through which dark, brackish streams 
were heard, and occasionally seen, trickling down the moun- 
tain. 

The scaling this hideous precipice was the most tremen- 
dous part of the expedition ; and, by far, the most difficult 
feat I ever achieved. My saddle was furnished with a strong 
handle before, and another behind; and, by dint of hold- 
ing against the latter, and pulling myself up by means of the 
former, 1 contrived to keep myself on the poor creature's 
back ; but it was painful to feel the strong working of her 
muscles. Having mastered this most arid and desolate por- 
tion of the mountain, we again reached symptoms of vegeta- 
tion. Whortleberries, moss, and a twisted growth of dwarf 
pines, covered its rugged side. Here again the guide stop- 
,ped, and bade us turn and look below; — but what combina- 
tion of words can convey an idea of all which that look 
showed us ? First came the rocky desert, — next a wavy sea 
of unnumbered forest-covered hills, in every, shade from 
black to gray, as the capricious clouds swept over them — 
then came the wide-spread world below, bright in unmiti- 
gated sunshine, with here and there a small speck that might 
be a beacon, tower, or village church; but all so blended in 
one flood of light, that, contrasted with the dark forest en- 
closing us, it seemed almost like an opening of the bright and 
sunny heavens, rather than any view of earth. 



292 BELGIUM AND 

Terror, weakness, weariness, all vanished at this spectacle; 
and, when our kind-natared guide nodded an encouraging 
assurance, that " Brocken would be good for us this night," 
we turned our heads again towards the lofty summit with- 
renovated strength and unshrinking spirits. 

Without the renewed energy, which this sight and these 
w^ords had given me, I really doubt wiiether I should have 
reached the top at all ; for every step became steeper and 
more difficult; and, as I recall it, I still wonder how it was 
that I continued able to cling to the powerful little animal, 
as it strained on from rock to rock up the last painful mile. 
But at last the deed was done, and we stood triumphant on 
the summit of the mountain. 

I have heard it said that the pleasure, produced by visit- 
ing any celebrated object, is lessened in exact proportion to 
all the eloquence we have listened to concerning it. Had I, 
however, been wholly unversed in German romance, — had I 
never seen Der Freischutz, or never read Faust, — I should 
not have felt all the satisfaction I did on this occasion: — and 
it must have been great, for it enabled me to meet, not only 
with patient endurance, but with a feeling of extreme enjoy- 
ment, the blast of wind which assailed us the instant we 
reached the narrow platform finishing the monstrous cone. 

The guide held me on the saddle, till he had led the mule 
under the shelter of the solitary Gast-Haus, and then placed 
me on my feet; congratulating me with hearty good-will, on 
my safe arrival. 

This building is constructed in a manner that shows, at a 
glance, what it has to endure. The granite walls are six feet 
thick, and the small windows are set even with the internal 
surface; so that, before each of them there is a deep, square 
embrasure. 

On entering the house we found ourselves in total dark- 
ness. A passage runs through the whole length of the build- 
ing, and exactly divides it, — several doors open into the 
passage from the chambers on each side. When any of the 
doors are open, a gleam of light reaches this cavern-like pas- 
sage; but when this is not the case, no dungeon can be 
darker. 

We groped our way along, neither knowing where to go, 
nor how, till an old woman from the kitchen came to our 



WESTERN GERMANY. 293 

assistance, and led me by the hand to her small, but most 
warm and welcome domain. 

The chillness of the atmosphere, which we found upon 
reaching this unsheltered pinnacle, made our teeth chatter 
and our limbs shake; and the old woman told us that every- 
body took hrandwein and hot water as soon as they arrived. 
To this we made no sort of objection; and having thus 
strengthened our nerves, and ordered dinner, we again left 
the friendly shelter, to battle with the strongest wind I was 
ever exposed to. Our guide, who had shared our potation, 
accompanied us. He led us first to a magnificent congeries 
of granite fragments, which seemed to have pierced through 
the surface, and darted up twenty feet towards the clouds. 
Wild and whimsical are the forms in which these masses are 
grouped ; and here it is that the witches of the Brocken 
assemble, to perform their unhallowed serenades. They 
neither play impromptu, nor from memory; or numerous 
rocks are pointed out, which serve them for music-desks, 
and the pile is therefore called " The Witches' Orchestra." 
High in the midst a single stone rises above the rest, of 
course for the leader of the band ; it is named " The Devil's 
Pulpit." To this Henry scrambled up; but his ambition 
very nearly cost, him an overthrow, for it was with the 
greatest difficulty he could keep his footing. To stand up- 
right was quite out of the question, and he described the sen- 
sation, which the wind produced at this elevated spot, to be 
exactly like one strong, long, uninterrupted box on the ear. 
And a box on the ear it undoubtedly was, — a not unfitting 
reprimand for his audacious intrusion. 

From " The Witches' Orchestra" we proceeded, shiver- 
ing and gasping for breath, to a very singular little lake, 
'called " The Hexensee, or Witches^ Lake." This has been 
much larger wathin the memory of man ; it is now but a few 
yards across, but is said to be of vast depth — no man, accord- 
ing to our experienced guide, having ever found a line that 
could reach the bottom. On the other side of the Orchestra, 
bubbles forth the clearest and sweetest water in the world : 
— but even this, pure as it looks, is also the property of the 
same unearthly hags, and is only known by the name of 
'^ The Witches' Spring ;" — moreover, it is said to be strongly 
influenced by their wicked will ; and though never perfectly 



294 BELGIUM AND 

dry, it rises and falls in a manner most supernaturally capri- 
cious. As we followed our guide, to these several mystical 
points, he stopped us from time to time, to harangue upon 
some of the botanical peculiarities of the mountain. 

Iceland moss grows there in great abundance, and the 
Alpine anemone was in the fullest bloom ; though it is a 
wonder how its delicate flowers can open before such 
piercing gales. The plant must certainly be under the espe- 
cial protection of the weird sovereigns of the place. — Near 
the door of theGast-Haus, is another monument of their un- 
lawful power; — a large fragment of rock stands there, having 
a deep natural cavity in it. This is denominated ^' The 
Witches' Dog Stone;" and let the weather be what it may, 
this cavily is never without water — in vain has it been care- 
fully emptied by well-disposed Christians, — nay, rubbed till 
no particle of moisture could be discerned, but ere the daring 
hand had ceased its office, drops of cold perspiration were 
seen oozing from the solid rock, and again the witches' dog 
might slake his thirst therein. 

All these marvellous things are on the mountain's top — 
and it is easy enough to recount that I saw them — but how 
am I to tell of what met our eyes below? How venture to 
describe a scene which, when it was before me, seemed too 
vast for my senses to comprehend? It is safest not to at- 
tempt it. 

When we spoke to the old woman of the Brocken- 
House, who, if she be a witch, is a most benign one, and 
to a certain fair Sophia, her handmaid, concerning the 
matter of dinner, they both modestly hinted, that nothing 
strictly deserving that appellation could be obtained within 
their dominions; adding, however, that the best they had 
should be at our service. As it certainly appeared more 
extraordinary that there should be any dinner at all for un- 
expected guests, on such a spot, than that it should not be 
sumptuous, we readily promised to be thankful for whatever 
they set before us. It had cost us three hours and eleven 
minutes, with very good mules, to get from the bottom 
of the mountain to the top: and how it could answer to 
these poor people to drag up provisions, and furnish them 
at the moderate prices they mentioned, was perfectly incon- 
ceivable. The mystery, however, was explained when 



WESTERN GERMANY. 295 

we were informed that the Prussian Government, learning 
that much extortion had been practised upon those who had 
unwarily taken shelter in the miserable hut, which a few 
years ago was the only dwelling here', immediately reme- 
died the evil by taking the establishment into its own hands. 
The present building was erected by its care, substantially 
and scientifically: and, during the summer, a person is ap- 
pointed to keep the house open for all comers, and to 
furnish good but simple viands, wine, and spirits, at regu- 
lated prices; which appeared to us to be rather less than 
what we generally met with in the world belovv. 

After making the <jircuit I have mentioned, among the 
enchanted memorials of the aboriginal population of the 
place, we gladly crept into the little dining-room of the 
Gast-Haus, where the fair Sophia had not only put fire in 
the stove, but laid a table as neatly as she could have done 
in the daintiest Gast-Haus of the plain. The soup, bouilli, 
potatoes, and bread, were all excellent; and of these our 
dinner consisted, with the addition of an admirable bottle 
of Steinberger ; — for which bottle we paid three shillings. 

Thus fortified, we once more braved the blast without. 
The hour of sunset, about which we had been so anxious, 
was fast approaching, and with every promise of being as 
bright as we could wish it. The grey-headed father of the 
family joined us as we stood before the door, and con- 
gratulated us on our extraordinary good fortune. Not a 
mist obscured the glorious expanse — not a feature of the 
wondrous landscape was concealed; clouds there were, but 
only enough to reflect the " sapphire blaze," and to fill up 
the gorgeous pageant. 

To have a perfect view of this spectacle, it is necessary 
to stand wdiere the panorama is complete; and this can only 
be done by mounting a small, but immensely strong tower, 
which forms the centre of the building. It rises only a few 
feet above the low roof of the house, but sufficiently to 
command an unbroken circular horizon. To this place we 
repaired, accompanied by several of the family, just as the 
sun had reached that point in his descent, where he seems 
to set fire to all the clouds which meet him. Every mortal 
once, at least, in his life should see, from the top of a 
mountain, the sun go down — it is like nothing else that the 



296 BELGIUM AND 

earth can show him. I have watched through the same 
hour at sea, where the clearness of a tropical sky has heigh- 
tened the effect of the brilliant spectacle; but there the sky 
and sea were all — and glorious as was the double splendour, 
it can bear no comparison, to the thousand dyes of earth and 
heaven which are seen above and below from a lofty height 
on land. 

We had the neighbouring mountain-tops for valleys, and 
the earth's wide circle for our horizon; but for the world 
between — its darkness, and its light—the lingering bright- 
ness, which brought the distant hills to view — the awful 
shade, already fallen on the pine forest at our feet — the in- 
expressible clearness of the atmosphere, which enabled us 
to count twelve distinct distances in the landscape — all this 
can be guessed at only by the initiated, who have seen 
something like it themselves. The rose-coloured reflection 
of this glowing sunset, was, on this occasion, more than 
usually brilliant in the east; for, as the sun went down, 
vast masses of clouds arose in that quarter of the heavens, 
and, till the light was gone, mocked us with the appearance 
of almost rival splendour; but when the borrowed glory 
left them, they assumed a far difterent aspect, and looked as 
full of storm and tempest as they had before done of light and 
beauty. The moon was one day past the full, and I had 
anticipated the pleasure of seeing her rise, and watching her 
pale light gleam upon all the witcheries of the Brocken: — ■ 
1 had even decided upon braving the chill blast to visit 
again, by her light, the Hexensee, the Orchestra, the Pulpit, 
and all the spots where I should be most likely to be made 
the fool of fancy. But all these fond devices were stifled 
in their birth, by such a storm of wind and rain, as might 
make the foul fiend himself seek shelter. 

Nothing, therefore, was left for our evening, but talking 
over the wonders of the day, as we hovered round the stove, 
and cheered ourselves with Sophia's coffee. But, though 
the sister of Apollo refused to enliven us, we soon disco- 
vered that the inspirations of the bright god himself might 
be found for the seeking. Poetry, in almost every lan- 
guage of the earth, begrimed the walls ; and if the display 
of our island tongue was not frequent; the transcription of 



WESTERN GERMANY. 297 

the following specimen may show how proud we felt that it 
was found at all: — 

" And next a giant form appeared. 
His brow with ivy crowned: 
Short and grizzled was his beard, 
And iiis hair with age was grey; 

Yet he danced around. 

On the accursed gi'ound, 

While the devil spoke 

From his pulpit rock. 
And gave his subjects holiday." 

We had just completed our survey of these mural inscrip- 
tions, when the venerable landlord entered, with three huge 
volumes in his hand. He again congratulated us on our 
peculiar good fortune, in having witnessed such a sunset; 
and, placing the books before us, added, that out of the many 
names w-e should find recorded in them, not one in a hun- 
dred had been equally favoured. He beg2;ed we would be 
pleased to add our own to the list; and left us, expressing a 
hope that the rough night we were likely to have, would 
not cause us any disagreeable alarm. 

The Brocken Album is, I have no doubt, quite as valuable, 
as to the intrinsic worth of its contents, as most others ; but 
the greater part of it being in German manuscript, it was 
closed to us. Some sprinkled effusions, however, we found, 
in a more familiar character; and, among these, the name and 
adventures of a young American. He tells how he deter- 
mined, with a friend and countryman, to scale the Brocken, 
without a guide — (the national love of dollars must have 
generated this dangerous project) — and hov^ they got bewil- 
dered amidst its bogs and precipices, '* uttering," as he 
vigorously expresses it, ''the frequent d^ — n." After many 
hours of severe toil, they at length succeeded in reaching the 
top; and the album has gained three or four pages of elo- 
quence from the pen of one or both of them. The learning 
displayed in the mode of inscribing one of their names 
amused us — 

'♦J. B. 

" Virginiensis Americanus." 

It was so much in the scientific manner in which some other 

38 



298 BELGIUM AND 

inhabitants of their native woods are classed, that it was im- 
possible to resist a smile. Henry was so delighted with the 
style^ that it was with great difficulty I prevented him from 
setting me down as "Species Maternalis Harroviensis.'" 

We were told, soon after entering the Brocken-House, 
that there were no bed-rooms for us, as a party of botanists 
had bespoken all in the building; but that a small room, with 
three couches and a stove, were at our service. When we 
first heard this, the weather was bright, though cold, and we 
were all full of schemes for watching the effects of moon- 
light upon so singular a spot; and this, with the determina- 
tion of meeting the sun, and his attendant spectre giant, in 
the morning, made us extremely indifferent about the accom- 
modation for the night; but now that all this vv'as perfectly 
out of the question, and a tempest howling without that 
seemed increasing every moment, the prospect of sitting all 
night to listen to it, was far from agreeable; yet it was the 
only one before us. We went to the door of the Gast-Haus, 
to look out upon the night; and though the moon was high 
in the heavens, and nearly full, all that its light could do 
was but to show the gloom that seemed brooding over the 
earth — lately so bright and lovely. It was like the change 
from life to death ; but a death that had no rest in it. The 
hurricane was frightful. Though the door we opened was 
deeply set, like the windows, and placed even with the inte- 
rior surface of the wall, it was not without difficulty that we 
were able to close it again; so powerful was the blast that 
rushed in upon us. At length we retired to our warm, but 
dismal chamber; a small dim lamp was placed behind the 
stove, that those who could might sleep, and each of us 
reclined upon a hard and narrow couch, to wait for the 
morning. 

Many must have cause to remember the fearful night that 
preceded the first of September, 1833. The gale that blew 
that night, caused more wrecks than any that has been record 
ed for years; and we felt and heard it in a manner never to 
be forgotten. 

There was something new to me, and very awful, in the 
sound of the wind, as I listened to it through the hours of 
that tedious night. There were no trees, no buildings, 
among which its wild bowlings might be either tamed or 



WESTERN GERMANY. 299 

lost ; and I thought that there were notes in its unmitigated 
voice more solemn and appalling than any to be heard else- 
where. At intervals a blast struck so rudely against our low, 
strong-set shelter, that I fancied it coirld never before have 
withstood such a storm ; and that we and it should speedily 
be scattered and shattered among the rocks of the mountain. 
But, when for awhile the fury of the attack remitted, and 
that hollow sound succeeded, which in every storm seems to 
indicate an intermission of its strength, or its rage, there was 
something so solemn and so wild, in the mystic wailings 
which followed, that all the legends I had ever read rose to 
my memory ; and more than once I caught myself listening, 
as if I expected to detect articulate sounds. It certainly re- 
quires very little invention, in addition to a tolerably lively 
fancy, to tell that voices have been heard, and words spol^en, 
amid such sounds as swept along the Brocken on that night. 
Occasionally, fatigue conquered all the excitement of this 
singular position, and I slept for a few minutes ; but by far 
the greater portion of the night was passed by me in listen- 
ing to these unearthly noises, — and yet strange to say, 1 was 
conscious of a species of pleasure in this occupation, — my 
spirits were in a sort of balancing see-saw between fear and 
enjoyment; and I felt as if I had for awhile quitted the 
earth and all its ordinary emotions, and had attained, by 
accident, some other state of being. 

My companions slept more than I did ; yet, not so well 
but that they welcomed heartily the light of day, which was 
the signal of release from our dungeon-like apartment. Dis- 
mal, however, was the prospect that greeted us when we 
again ventured to unclose the door of the fortress. The mist 
was so thick that no London fog in November could exceed 
its density. It was not dingy yellow, however, but vapoury- 
blue. And, when I had succeeded in creeping along the 
wall of the house, to a corner where I could keep my feet, 
and look out upon it, the w^ld and rapid movement of its 
shadowy shapes, as the eddying blast propelled them, had 
more of majesty, sublimity, and mystery in it, than even the 
sunset of the night before. I saw not the spectral giant on 
the western skies, such as a bright morning shows him, — 
and it is difQcult to say, precisely, what I did see. The 
vapour was stirred into such sudden fitful movement, that it 



300 BELGIUM AND 

seemed, indeed, as if spirits were careering on the blast; and, 
n a fixed and sober glance convinced me they were *'airy 
oothings," there was still enough of wonder left to make 
fne tremble. 

I remembered, too, that I had again to mount my mule, 
and descend through this palpable obscure, over rocks and 
bogs that were terrible, even during honest earthly daylight; 
— and that '^foUe du logis,^^ as Montaigne calls the imagi- 
nation, would be sure to multiply these dangers a hundred- 
fold, if they were to be guessed at, instead of seen. 

It was, however, of necessity, to be done, and, at all times, 
when the weight of certainty falls upon the mind, the mer- 
cury of our courage immediately rises to the requisite pitch. 
My companions confessed that they felt some m.isgivings on 
my account; but, for themselves, they seemed positively to 
enjoy the tumult and the din : — so we took our breakfast by 
no means as if we thought it would prove our last, and then 
proceeded with the necessary preparations. 

I never experienced more kindness from strangers than on 
this occasion. Every individual of the family seemed to 
make it a particular business to devise ways and means for 
my safety and comfort. It was declared necessary that I 
should mount in the stable; as it would have been impossi- 
ble that the good people who were to pack me up should keep 
their footing out of doors. The whole household followed 
to this barn ; and there I was tied, and pinned, till it was 
declared impossible for any morsel of drapery to be taken at 
disadvantage by the storm. The preparation being an- 
nounced as complete, we sallied forth : — but the first step 
beyond the shelter of the barn rendered ail their care abor- 
tive, and the guide turned me and my mule again into the 
stable. My good friends then set to work again ; and, by 
means of stronger tackle, and tyings in abundance, I was 
once more declared in condition to face the wind. 

Fortunately the sharp, pricking rain, which had been fall- 
ing for the last hour, now ceased. This was an essential re- 
lief, as it enabled me to uncover my eyes. The attentive 
guide led my mule; and though I could hardly draw breath, 
and with difficulty held myself on the saddle, I again set 
forward with a feeling very like enjoyment. 

I had soon the comfort of finding that the mountain 



WESTEKN GERMANY. 301 

itself afforded us a perfect shelter, as soon as we had got a 
few yards below its summit } and 1 had no doubt that some 
of the kind and consolatory accents, addressed to me before 
I quitted the stable, conveyed an assurctnce that so it would 
be ; but I had too much agitation, and too little German, to 
understand it. 

Our descent was by a different and much easier path than 
that by which we mounted ; and, before we had performed 
a mile of our downward progress, all that was alarming or 
disagreeable had utterly disappeared, and was forgotten in 
the new delight that opened before us. 

The black clouds, which had covered the whole expanse 
of heaven, suddenly rose from the horizon, and, rapidly 
mounting higher and higher, by degrees displayed a land- 
scape radiant in light, and beautiful beyond description in 
its sudden and unexpected brightness. I have read of, and 
I think I' have seen, what poets call " golden light," and 
*' sapphire light," and "purple light," — but such a light as 
now burst upon the world below us I never saw till then. 

After passing about two-thirds of the descent, the new 
path fell into the old one, and we came again upon the beau- 
tiful torrent. Nearly at this point, we overtook a very in- 
teresting party of young botanists, — amounting to twelve, — 
each with his Hortus Siccus portfolio, and Herbal, strapped 
behind him. A young man, of two or three and twenty, ap- 
peared to be their leader and instructor; and the whole 
group, their pursuit, and the sublime scene chosen for it, 
formed a pretty subject of contemplation. 

We had not long pursued our former road, when we again 
left it ; in order to pass over the height on which stands the 
enormous Cross pointed out to us the day before. 

To this point, walks have been cut through the forest, 
with considerable skill and care. They lead by a narrow, 
undulating terrace along the side of one or two most pictu- 
resque minor mountains, to the extraordinary rock where 
this Cross, erected in honour of some Prussian victory, 
rears its twenty feet of massive iron against the sky. This 
terrace-path lasts for above a league, and commands openings 
into some of the wildest scenery of the Harz. 

Blase, as our poor guide must be, for all that these scenes 
can show, he yet felt, or seemed to feel, some emotion as he 



302 BELGIUM AND 

led us by these passes. More than onoe he stopped, and, 
pointing to the depths below, and the pine-covered heights 
above, uttered an exclamation of delight. 

The extreme point on which the Cross stands is bare and 
alone. All around it is clothed with the pine forest ; but 
this pale, solitary stone juts forth, and hangs over the val- 
]ey, with such a giddy pre-eminence, that 1 trembled in re- 
membering that I have stood upon its verge. Though my 
exultation of spirits had not yet forsaken me, and I still en- 
joyed a pleasure (so new!) in looking down into the pro- 
found valleys by w^hich we had passed, I confess I shrunk 
back at the aspect of this isolated crag : — but our guide 
would not let me retreat ; and I owe to his persevering 
good-nature the pleasure of knowing that I left, nothing un- 
seen. 

Whatever character the miners and charcoal-burners of 
the Harz may bear, and however their rude and almost un- 
controlled excesses may have made them fitting personages 
in the wild romances to which this region of fable has given 
birth, I am persuaded, that those who live by constantly tra- 
versing its sublimest scenes must draw a species of moral 
elevation from the occupation. And I would venture to 
predict, that any one, who knew his language well, would 
find, in the conversation of our one-eyed guide, not only a 
delightful collection of romantic lore, but much genuine, 
deep-set feeling, and no inconsiderable portion of valuable 
local knowledge. 

Full of interest and enjoyment as this expedition proved 
to us, 1 doubt whether I can fairly recommend the ascent of 
the Brocken to the generality of female travellers. But no 
one should be within a day's journey of Ilsingbourg, without 
making an excursion on mules to the colossal Cross, and re- 
turning by the Charcoal-road which leads along the moun- 
tain torrent. 

On returning to the village, we passed close to the walls 
of an old castle, now occupied by some species of manufac- 
tory. The building, from its antiquity, and its situation in 
this wildest of districts, deserves a longer examination than 
we had time to give it. At the " Red Trout/' we again en- 
countered the same, or an exactly similar, set of scowling 



WESTERN GERMANY. 303 

smokers ; so we again took refuge with the gillyflowers, and 
feasted upon Westphalia ham, during the process of putting 
the horses to the carriage. 

It was not till I found myself in the corner of this com- 
fortable vehicle, that I became fully aware how much I 
wanted rest. In truth, I believe we were all pretty thorough- 
ly exhausted, both in mind and body, by the exertion and 
the pleasure of the last twenty-four hours : — -and our drive 
back to Goslar was a very luxurious interval of silence and 
of rest. 



304 BELGIUM AND 



CHAPTER XXL 

Antiquities of Goslar — Altar of Croton — Hanover — Herrenhausen — Thea- 
tre — Salt Works at Rehme — Sea of Rocks — Cologne — Steam-Boat — 
Rotterdam — Conclusion. 

An excellent repast awaited us at the " Empereur Ro- 
main," — which I name for the benefit of all future travellers 
to the Harz, who are wise enough to read my book and pro- 
fit by my experience. It required some resolution, after all 
the fatigue we had endured, to set off again in pursuit of 
the curiosities of Goslar. Nevertheless, we did so; and the 
virtue thus manifested was, as usual, its own reward — or 
rather, it brought its own reward, in the multitude of unac- 
countable additions, and venerable antiquities, with which it 
made us acquainted. Goslar has every appearance of having 
preserved relics of whatsoever the whim and will of succeed- 
ing ages have bestowed on it. The '^ Stream of time" may 
here be almost as clearly traced, by a practical antiquarian, 
as in a chronological table. Tribute has been sufficiently 
paid to " the beautifier," in the shape of fallen roofs and 
half-demolished turrets ; but some remnant of all that ever 
was there appears to be still visible. 

This place must have been of immense strength, when 
there was no gunpowder to contend with. The round towers, 
which remain at each entrance to the town, are magnificent; 
their walls measure twenty-one feet in solid thickness, and 
their internal diameter is eighty. 

Of a cathedral church, dedicated to St. Matthew, and built 
by Conrad the First, in 916, only a small portion remains. 
This is very carefully preserved, and made the receptacle of 
various local antiquities, which, thus protected, bid fair to 
endure for another thousand years or so. 

In this consecrated museum there is one relic, of a date 
evidently anterior to that of the holy faith to which the build- 
ing containing it belongs; though it now stands as if appro- 
priated to the rites and ceremonies of the sacred edifice. 



WESTERN GERMANY. 305 

This curious piece of antiquity has received the appellation 
of Croton's Altar; upon what authority I know not. It is 
of brass, with a white marble slab on the top, and is supported 
on the shoulders of four hideous figures, in bronze. Ugly 
as it is, it was thought, by the vey^tu of some of Napoleon's 
generals, worthy of being conveyed to Paris: but it was care- 
fully brought back again to Goslar, at a period which may 
be called, in more than one sense, that of the Restoration, 

One single window, of very old and very richly stained 
glass, lights but dimly this temple of relics: and the pictu- 
resque effect of their mutilated and uncertain forms, is perhaps 
enhanced by this obscurity. Tomb-stones, and carved taber- 
nacles, sculptured altars, and grotesque alto-relievo's, are 
seen athwart the gloom with a delightful uncertainty, leaving 
the imagination at liberty to believe them still richer than 
they are. Notwithstanding this religious twilight, Mr. H. 
contrived to make a very faithful sketch of the Altar of Cro- 
ton. 

The Protestant church of St. Mark cannot be placed in 
competition with the mutilated St. Matthew's in point of in- 
terest; but it has its splendid brazen Font to show; in which 
the abundance of metal seems to tell of neighbouring mines. 

The architectural vagaries of the Goslar houses are, Ishould 
imagine, among the most eccentric in the world. Many of 
them show traces of most elaborate workmanship. The 
Worth Hotel is a perfect gem in its way: — in the centre is a 
handsome Gothic gloriette, and on each side of it, four full- 
sized figures of old German Emperors in armour, most hide- 
ous to behold ; with two statues of naked wild men, armed 
with clubs, at each corner. The Prussian and Austrian arms 
are carved upon the walls. In front of this hotel are a bronze 
fountain and basin, of very beautiful antique workmanship: — 
the tradition goes, that the Devil was the artisan who pro- 
duced them, and they are still called after him. 

The fine weather seemed to have lasted us exactly as long 
as there was anything to see. A cold drizzling rain obliged 
us again to have the carriage closed ; and this time, as we 
lifted up the curtains to peep out, we became perfectly re- 
conciled to the necessity. The only picturesque objects be- 
tween Goslar and Hanover were tiie living ones; — the dresses 



306 BELGIUM AND 

of the peasantry are very peculiar, and those of the females 
often gay and becoming. Among the Harz mountains, the 
women universally wear a long, full, heavy, striped mantle, 
which reaches from the throat to the feet; with a small, close, 
silk cap, tied under the chin. No dress could be more judi- 
ciously adapted to the locality than this seems to be; for they 
are exposed at all seasons to the sudden blasts of wind which 
towering hills and narrow valleys are sure to produce. 

We dined at Hildesheim — and that is ail I can say of it. 
The roads in its vicinity,- — which, being both rough and 
hilly, were traversed very slowly, — afforded Henry some 
amusement, from the very beautiful organic remains pro- 
fusely lodged in the large masses of stone laid up beside them 
for repairs; from these he extracted some specimens — and I 
pitied his yearnings, when we drove within sight of the 
quarry, whence they were taken, and left it behind us un- 
examined. We had, however, no time to spare, and but 
just contrived to reach Hanover before the dark evening 
closed upon us. 

The first aspect of Hanover is not prepossessing. Most 
of the streets are narrow, and the houses so lofty, that lit- 
tle air or sunshine can reach the pavement, which, as there 
is no trottoir, is particularly in need of both. A more de- 
tailed survey, however, shows much that is handsome, and 
still more that is venerable and curious. To the English, at 
least, this old city must afford materials for much interesting 
research ; and, though its palaces are antiquated, its '^ trim 
gardens" stifi'and formal, and its long line of princely por- 
traits, of little value to the connoisseur, there is still, in all 
these, much that speaks pleasantly to the heart of an English- 
man ; and the walls which sheltered the cradle of our royal 
line, cannot be looked at with indifference. 

The weather was most tantalizing during the whole of our 
stay ; but, though I saw less of the environs, public walks, 
&c., than I could have wished, my time was very delight- 
fully occupied ; for I was at the house of one my oldest 
and dearest friends. Yet, notwithstanding this strong temp- 
tation to be quiet, I failed not to visit all that was best worth 
seeing. 

Among these I must place first the venerable palace of 
Herrenhausen, Without the historical associations attached 



WESTERN GERMANY. 307 

to it, this palace would be nothing ; but, with them, it is 
full of interest. The old gardens, with their square grass- 
plats, and marble fountains — the long yew walk, where 
the Princess Sophia first heard of the Accession — the family- 
portraits, looking like the grandfathers and grandmothers of 
England— all these speak the language of history, and of 
history closely connected with our own. 

The palace of the Duke of Cambridge is within the city: 
that of Herrenhausen is at the distance of a mile, and is ap- 
proached by a most magnificent avenue of nearly that length. 
By the help of a friend's carriage, I saw something of the 
pretty forest which skirts the town, in one direction ; and, 
also, of a country residence of the Duke, with extremely 
pretty modern gardens, in another. 

Many of the old buildings in the heart of the city, — in- 
cluding the Hotel de Ville, — are among the most picturesque 
edifices 1 have seen in Germany. Immensely high, elabo- 
rately ornamented, and v/ith a plentitude of quaint device 
which defies description, they are invaluable as memorials 
of a distant age : and the careful preservation of them must 
be an object of lively interest to the learned antiquary in 
every country. 

The public library is very extensive, and peculiarly valu- 
able in respect of its manuscripts; those of Leibnitz alone 
occupy a large portion of one room, formerly tenanted by 
himself ; he having been for many years librarian. 

The most splendid erection in Hanover, is the Waterloo 
monument. It is a noble column ; and, were the figure of 
Victory with her attributes, by which it is surmounted, less 
complicated in outline, it would be faultless. On its pedes- 
tal are inscribed the names of all the Hanoverians (of what- 
ever rank,) who fell in the battle. Not far from this magni- 
ficent structure, is another of a very different character, 
which would show to greater advantage were it more dis- 
tant : — this is a little Grecian temple, bearing the inscrip- 
tion, '' Genio LeibnitzV^ Could this be transported to one 
of the pretty groves of the gardens, which so delightfully 
surround the city, it would give and receive both grace and 
fitness. 

The Theatre at Hanover is of excellent size and propor- 
tions, and prettily decorated. The performances, on the 



308 BELGIUM AND 

evening of our visit, were by the French company from the 
theatre at Berlin. The acting was, throughout, admirable ; 
and the three little pieces, which we saw, were of the genu- 
ine, modern, larmoy ant-mo queur French school. I do 
not much like the style. It is real life — but life as I would 
never wish to see it. 

Mr. T. joined us in this city, via Hamburgh^ and con- 
firmed the account we had before heard, of the fatal winds 
of the first of September ; the effect of which he himself 
escaped by a few hours only. 

As it was our wish to see as much of Westphalia as time 
would allovv, and as Mr. T. was desirous of visiting the 
Miinster of the Three Kings, we decided upon crossing to 
Cologne, instead of making for Wesel, which was the direct 
route to Rotterdam. The country, through which this road 
took us, was, in many parts, of a very high order of beauty ; 
but we posted through it, and only paused for a few hours here 
and there; when any object of peculiar attraction detained 
us. Minden is a place of considerable interest ; its forti- 
fications are magnificent — and the view of the Porta West- 
phalica, and all its surrounding scenery, is most lovely. 

The Salt-works at Rehme could not be passed unseen. 
The manner in which the water from the saline spring is 
made to deposite its treasure, is very ingenious. Stacks of 
thorn boughs, three hundred feet long, sixty feet high, and 
thirty wide, are constructed with the uniform symmetry and 
neatness of a brick mansion. The water is forced to the 
top of this structure, and, being carried in troughs along its 
whole extent, is made to drip gradually through every part 
of it. In its passage this water deposites lime, which at- 
taches to every twig, and forms a little forest of petrifac- 
tions. Below the stacks are cellars, twelve feet deep, into 
which the purified water runs ; whence it is conveyed to 
the boiling-house, where a most pure and beautiful deposit 
of salt takes place on the sides of the boilers. This deposit 
is laded out, and immediately packed in baskets. 

At Bielefeld, where we dined, we were again tempted 
to a few hours' delay ; for the purpose of visiting the fine 
ruins of its castle, and mounting to the public gardens on the 
opposite hill, from whence we looked over as fine a country 
as it is well possible to conceive. Rocks, forests, hills, val- 



WESTERN GERMANY. 311 

Dark, damp, chilling, and miserable, was our embarka- 
tion, at half past five o'clock on the following; morning, for 
Rotterdam. Here again was a contrast. When last we 
had embarked from this same bridge,'the summer and the 
Drachenfels were before us ; — now, we had nothing to look 
for but equinoctial gales and — Rotterdam. We had but few 
passengers, and of these only a small proportion were English. 
We were about a fortnight too late for the companionship of 
Rhenish tourists. The weather improved upon us, however, 
and we enjoyed a bright September sun; but it had nothing 
to shine upon, which could content our pampered eyes; and, 
till we got to Dusseldi)rf, we hardly thought it worth while 
to open them. Here we just did this, and no more; for the 
steam-boat paused not long enough to allow a walk on 
shore. By all accounts Dusseldorf deserves a very dif- 
ferent sort of examination — it is spoken of as a delightful 
residence. 

Just twelve hours after our embarkation we reached 
Arnheim, our quarters for the night. It rained hard ; 
and our walk in search of a hotel was unpleasant enough. 
But, even under these circumstances, it was impossible not 
to be struck by the neat appearance of the town. 

Every house looked as if the workmen had only just left 
it,— having ^' repaired and beautified'^ every part, from the 
cellar to the garret. No frontier in the world, I imagine, 
can sever lands more dissimilar in appearance than Germany 
and Holland ; and the habits of the people (smoking except- 
ed) are not more congenial. Were idolatry to supersede the 
true faith in Holland, soap and water would unquestionably 
be made the objects of adoration. Of the latter, nature has 
certainly given them enough; and, for the matter of soap, 
I am persuaded that all human arts would be put in requisi- 
tion, rather than this first of chemical blessings should be 
found wanting. 

By the courtesy of a stranger, we were led to the very 
uneonspicuous, but comfortable, Hotel des Fays-Bas. 
Everything here was Dutch, — and Dutch to perfection. 
Every floor was blessed with a carpet; every window-pane 
was innocent of dust. Our attendant hand-maidens, with 
stockings white as snow, and close-plaited head-gear to 



312 BELGIUM AND 

matchj looked like Naiads fresh risen from a washing tub ; 
and the linen, in every direction, whether curtains, table- 
cloths, sheets, or napkins, dazzled the eyes that looked upon 
them. 

The following morning an adventure happened to us, 
which also proved, though in a manner less agreeable, 
that we had passed the Dutch frontier. Our passports 
had been taken from us the evening before, by an officer 
who came on board for the purpose ; and the captain said 
that we should have no trouble concerning them, as the 
same person would meet us when we embarked in the 
morning. 

Accordingly, w^e had not been many minutes in the boat, 
before the officer arrived. To Mr. T. and Henry, their 
passports (that of the latter including mine) were returned, 
duly signed ; but to Mr. H. a paper was delivered instead, 
commanding him immediately to return over the frontier; 
as his passport was such as no Dutch signature, which he 
could obtain here, could make available. A similar notice 
was delivered to an English gentleman and his nephew; 
and also to a French family, on their way to a near relation 
at Amsterdam. In each case the defective passports had 
Belgian signatures, which ours had not. 

The captain of the steam-boat, however, assured the dis- 
comfited travellers, that it would be only necessary for them 
to repair to Nimeguen ; where the governor of that fortress 
would be able, and doubtless willing, to give them fresh 
passports, which would enable them to reach Rotterdam on 
the following day. 

Fortunately, the packet did not set off for London till the 
day after ; and we therefore left Mr. H. in the belief that 
no other inconvenience would ensue to him than being sepa- 
rated from his party for a few hours. The result, however, 
was very different. On arriving at Nimeguen, he w^as 
again told that no passport could be given him ; and, ac- 
cordingly, he had to travel through Prussia and Belgium 
to Ostend. Luckily for him, the English gentlemen before 
mentioned were in the same predicament ; and he had 
the advantage of their company on this enforced and tedious 
journey. 



WESTERN GERMANY. - 313 

That there was considerable severity in the regulation 
which occasioned this, cannot be denied; but the outrageous 
detention of a Dutch gentleman on the Belgian frontier, a 
few weeks before — a circumstance vvhich we had heard 
everywhere spoken of with indignation — had unquestiona- 
bly led to it. 

Rotterdam, being nearly as well known to Englishmen as 
Calais itself, must not be long dwelt upon. But its intermi- 
nable canals, on which boats occupy that portion of the street 
elsewhere used by carriages, cannot be seen for the first time 
without a feeling of surprise. I can hardly conceive any- 
thing less picturesque than the general aspect of this singular 
place. Were I doomed for a certain space of time to walk 
through its sad and misty streets, I might be tempted, unless 
the period were a very short one, to try whether I were not 
really amphibious, — as all who inhabit there ought to be, — ■ 
and plunge into a canal, by way of bettering my condition. 
Yet, once fairly removed from the watery streets, and ad- 
mitted within the precincts of the comfortable dwellings 
which stretch along their sides, I should very soon feel dis- 
inclined to leave them again. 

It seems as if Nature, in forming this race of inhabitants, 
had benignly gifted them with the power of making their 
houses thus comfortable, expressly that they might feel no 
inclination to move out of them, and so escape the conscious- 
ness that she had denied them any objects worth looking at 



40 



114 ; '* BELGIUM AND 



CONCLUSION. 



Here ended our summer's tour : and, should this enume- 
ration of the multitude of lovely scenes with which it 
brought me acquainted, lead any to follow in the same track, 
and share in the same pleasures, one of the objects for which 
I have recorded them will be answered. Of Germany, I 
should say, from the portion I have seen of it,-that all the 
nations of the earth would do well to visit its noble territory, 
and study its confederated strength. Should I be able to do 
so, I will certainly return to this most interesting Mnd, once 
and again; for it is to me more full of all that can keep the 
mind in healthy action, than any other I have seen ; — but, 
in doing thi^, it will be for my pleasure only, and not that I 
may perceive more clearly the features which distinguish it 
from others. These are too distinctly pronounced to escape 
even a more rapid glance than I have given it. 

To enjoy fully all the richness of German literature, lock- 
ed up, as it is, in its splendid case of Gothic workmanship, 
where every precious idiom, standing like a gem in deep 
relief upon it, only adds to the difficulty of penetrating to the 
treasures it contains, — to enjoy all this, fully, requires long 
years of youthful labour. To endure, without some suffer- 
ing, the hateful vapour with which it is the will of some part , 
of the German people to obscure their pure and lovely atmo- 
sphere, would also require long years of youthful labour: — 
but the magnificent tone of the scenery, the abounding pro- 
duce of the delightful climate, the delicious music that greets 
one on every hand, as if it were the universal voice of the 
people, the enduring effects of their venerable institutions, 
and the national stamps which is the result of all these, are 
too salient to escape observation,, and too admirable to miss 
applause. Most truly, these are characters which those who 
run may read — it is only necessary for this, that they should 
possess the power of reading at all. 



WESTERN GERMANS?. 315 

But I have other reasons, still, for wishing my country- 
men to visit German3^ I doubt whether there be any place 
on earth where at this moment so much precious wisdom is 
to be found ;— and it is taught, too, in a manner the least un- 
palatable; for Germany follows not the custom of these latter 
days, but is more given to practise than to preach. 

France, for nearly half a century, has been making herself 
heard among the nations; proclaiming aloud that she will 
give them such a lesson in political science, as shall render 
perfect the condition of man. There are some who still love 
to listen to her ; but more, perhaps, who think she has yet to 
learn the mystery she is so anxious to teach. 

For about the same period, America has been lifting up 
her voice to the self-same tune — and there are some, too, 
who will still listen to her. But, while the discordant 
accents of her motley race declare " Thrones, Dominations, 
Princedoms," to be pernicious excrescences, there is a gene- 
ral feeling among the sober-minded, that she is talking of she 
knows not what. 

Spain — proud Spain — reels to and fro ; and staggers like a 
drunken man ; and is at her wit's end. She is tossed, as a 
buoy upon the waves, indicative of shoals, and rocks, and 
wreck; but she has no light to lead any into port. 

" Sad and sunken Italy, the plunderers' common prey," 
has neither power to give, nor to take counsel. 

Gigantic Russia shines afar off — a thing to wonder at, 
rather than understand. 

And England — England, who has stood unscathed, while 
the whirlwind raged around her — how fares she in this 
** piping time of peace?" Truly, she is much in the state 
of lady Teazle's reputation — ill of a plethora. She has 
been triumphant— but the thought of it makes her sick. She 
has been free — but would mend her condition. She has 
drained wealth from the four quarters of the earth — but she 
would change all this. She must make alterations, grow 
slender, and cease to be sleek and contented, that she may be 
in, the fashion. 

And what has confederated Germany been doing the 
while? Storm and tempest have beat against her ; but, true 
to herself, she has only risen stronger from the blast. The 
flood of war has swept over, but could not overwhelm her ; 



316 BELGIUM AND WESTERN GERMANY. 

and though nations, whieh bore not one-half her burden in 
the struggle, are beat down to rise not again, 

" She tricks her beams, and with new-spangled ore 
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky." 

And why is this ? Let us visit her well-ordered cities-— 
let us look at the peaceful industry of her fields :~-and, 
though we shall perhaps find her talking and writing less 
upon government than most other nations, we may gain 
a lesson that shall help us at our need. 

Yet Germany, too, is seeking to ameliorate the condition 
of man, and is foremost in the race of intellectual improve- 
ment. Let Os visit her, and see what are the means she 
takes to ensure it. She turns not her strength to uproot and 
overthrow all that man, in his social state, has hitherto held 
sacred ; nor does she labour to force Nature from her 
course, in order to make level that which the Creator has 
decreed shall rise and fall in ceaseless inequality ;• — but, 
with steady power, she pursues the only scheme by which 
man may hope to benefit his species. She gives her people 
knowledge, and sufiers not either ignorance or tumult to 
banish " the sage called Discipline" from the land. 



THE END 



' •J.8?0